How to Listen to a Sermon in 2011

Listening to a sermon can be a challenge. Haddon Robinson said, “People come with a built in skepticism to preaching. And they have a feeling your [the preacher] going to make it worse.” I’ve thought of how preachers can help listeners listen. We need to preach knowing we have prayed, studied, etc. We need to use some image with media. Brief, high impact video is good. Stories! And good biblical preaching is first and foremost.

But how can listeners help themselves listen to a sermon? Here are 11 things for 2011.

1. Pray through the week for your pastor’s preaching.

2. Pray for your pastor’s  preaching while he is preaching.

3. Read your Bible through the week. When you have been in the word, preaching is better.

4. Bring your Bible to worship and open it during the message.

5. Take notes of the message in a thin journal or in your worship guide/bulletin.

6. Encourage your pastor’s preaching by sending a hand written note, not just “after the sermon” encouragement.

7. Sleep well the night before. If not, make up your mind to get up and get coffee and get to worship.

8. Give your pastor an occasional “amen” or “that’s right pastor.”

9. Sit up front in your auditorium and make facial contact with a smile when your pastor preaches. No pastor likes to preach with a full room, but the first 3 rows are empty.

10. When you miss a sermon, listen to the podcast of what you missed on the website.

11. Be able to tell someone else through the week what your pastor preached.

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