Nathan W. Bingham
Connecting in a Hyper-Connected World

3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of A Sermon

Time flies.

Not only has 2010 been and gone, but we have already said “goodbye” to January and are quickly devouring February.

Christian, think about this for a moment. Five Sundays have gone by this year already, and for many of you, that’s two sermons each Sunday. In total, the likelihood is high that you have heard ten sermons already in 2011.

Think back over those past ten sermons. What has God taught you? How have you been encouraged, challenged, pruned, exhorted, refreshed? Can you even remember the past ten sermons?

If your mind is blank as you’re trying to think back to a sermon from last Sunday then you’ve got a problem; and you’re not alone. However, the answer to this problem is not less preaching. The answer is probably not even better preaching.

Then what?

Here I offer 3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of A Sermon, and like most things that pass through my grey matter, they’re probably not original to me.

Preparation

– Take some time out on Saturday night (or Sunday morning) to read the sermon text. Consider what the text is saying and write down any questions you have.

If the sermon text isn’t available maybe ask your Pastor to email it out or print it in the weekly bulletin.

– Pray and ask God to help you hear the Word preached, understand the Word preached, and apply the Word preached.

– Have your clothes for the day ready before you go to bed, along with anything else you’ll need before leaving for church (Bible, etc.). Take as much stress out of Sunday morning as possible. It can be difficult. I have three girls under 4.5 years old.

Concentration

– Make a conscious decision before the sermon begins to actually listen to the Word preached.

Note John Newton’s exhortation as how not to listen to a sermon.

– Listen out for answers to the questions you wrote down the night before.

– Take notes. How does the sermon progress? How does it apply to your life? What insights into the text did you miss?

Rumination

– That is, think about the sermon and reflect upon what’s been said.

– Sum up the sermon’s message in a single sentence. Tell someone over coffee, a meal that day, or simply write it down.

– Review your notes on Monday.

– Pray and ask God to aid you in the areas covered in the sermon, and thank God for the truths you heard.

– Have all your questions about the text been answered? If not, maybe email or call your Pastor later in the week. I’m confident he would love to know you’ve been considering the text and the sermon.

These 3 tips aren’t rocket science, but they may help prevent another ten sermons going by without you remembering what amazing truths God’s Word says. As always, use these tips with liberty. They’re advice and principles, not law.

Do you find yourself experiencing sermon / information overload? How do you prepare for a sermon? Do you have any tips you’d add? Leave a comment, discuss it on Facebook, or send me on a tweet on Twitter.

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