A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons

From James Grant:

Christopher Ash has a small booklet titled, Listen Up! A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons. This is a great resource for all members of the church. He provides “seven ingredients for healthy sermon listening” that make up the table of contents:

  1. Expect God to speak
  2. Admit God knows better than you
  3. Check that the preacher says what the passage says
  4. Hear the sermon in church
  5. Be there week by week
  6. Do what the Bible says
  7. Do what the Bible says today—and rejoice!

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

One thought on “A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons

  1. I like the idea of helping people to listen well. I think my list would be slightly different:
    1. Expect God to speak and be excited that He wants to talk to you.
    2. Settle in your heart that God can speak through anyone. Even if you don’t particularly like them or their style.
    3. Listen with love. Appreciate the time and effort that goes into preparing a sermon and sincerely thank God for the person who has given their time and energy to this.
    4. Be an encouraging listener. Sit in the front row, look interested, nod and agree when you do.
    5. Listen with intelligence. Test what you are hearing against scripture and common sense.
    6. Welcome challenge and conviction and resist guilt and emotional manipulation.
    7. Find a way to engage with the material. You might want to take notes. Not only noting what you want to remember from the sermon, but other things that it sparks in your mind. Think about how it links with your life or with other things you’ve learnt. How does it link with other things God has been speaking to you about?
    8. Feel free to disagree and to question with honesty and integrity. Allow your questioning to lead you to engage more deeply with the teaching and to think and reflect and perhaps do further reading.
    9. Give yourself time to absorb the material. You could talk and discuss with others about what you’ve heard. Could you go for coffee or dinner with friends from church after the service? Engage with the material together. It might have sparked things you can pray with one another about.
    10. If you think God is challenging you to change in response to the sermon, take it seriously and think, pray and act during the following week.

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