I like this from Nancy Leigh DeMoss: How to Get the Most Out of Your Pastor’s Preaching. Can’t help but think that this active (as opposed to passive, or non-preparation) preparation would yield far greater fruit in discipleship, and conversions, week by week.
My thanks to Colin Adams for this.
Here’s the abbreviated outline:
Before the service
1. Pray for your pastor as he prepares for Sunday.
2. Take time during the week to read ahead and meditate on the text.
3. Prepare for public worship the night before.
4. Ask God to prepare your heart for the preaching of the Word.
5. Ask God to give you a sense of anticipation.
During the service
1. Participate—you need to be there.
2. Spend a few minutes before the service quietly preparing your heartfor worship.
3. Don’t be a spectator.
4. Open your Bible and follow along.
5. Listen attentively to the reading and the preaching of the Word.
6. Listen humbly to the preaching of the Word.
7. Take notes.
8. Don’t make your pastor a prisoner of unrealistic expectations.
After the service
1. Ask God to give you at least one takeaway from the message.
2. Discuss the message with others.
3. Be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer (James 1:22).
Making It Personal
- Do you highly esteem, respect, and reverence the Word of God (Neh. 8:5; Ps. 138:2)?
- Do you prepare your heart to hear the Word of God (Ps. 119:18)?
- Do you find delight in hearing the Word proclaimed?
- Do you listen attentively when the Word is being read or preached (Neh. 8:3; Ps. 85:8)?
- Do you expect God to speak to you every time you hear His Word proclaimed?
- Do you have a teachable spirit (Ps. 25:9)?
- Do you tremble at the Word of the Lord (Isa. 66:2; Ezra 9:4)?
- Do you pray for those who proclaim the Word to you, that they might be pure, anointed vessels of God (1 Thess. 5:25)?
- When the Word is preached, are you conscious that you are not listening to the words of men but to the Word of God (1 Thess. 2:13)?
- Do you have a commitment to obey anything God shows you from His Word (Matt. 7:24; James 1:22–25)?
- Do you respond in faith, that is, acting on the Word you have heard (Heb. 4:2)?
- Is your heart good soil that receives the Word and produces fruit (Luke 8:15)?
- Are you willing to let the message sit in judgment of you rather than you sitting in judgment of the message?
- Do you take the message personally (James 1:22)? Or are you more focused on how it applies to the people sitting near you?
- Do you pass on to others what you’ve learned from the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:2)?
- Do you express appreciation and gratitude for those who minister the Word of God to you (Gal. 6:6; 1 Thess. 5:12-13)?
Read the entire post with explanations here.