I am blessed to sit under some amazing preaching each Sunday. My pastor, Ken Adams, knows how to take God’s word and relate it to my life and my families’ life. I cherish this time every week and see it as an important exercise for growth.
It wasn’t always like that though. For many years, I looked at my pastor as the performer and me as the consumer. Each week I would relax in my favorite church seat and mumble under my breath, “this better be good.”
Nowadays, I view sermons very differently. These sacred talks teach me, and they remind me of who I am and what I’m expected to do for God’s kingdom. They motivate me to joyfully join God’s work–sharing the Good News and discipling others.
So here are some ways I try to get the most out of these precious messages:
Bring a Bible. A Bible and a sermon are a powerful combination. You can highlight and mark up passages. You will learn about the different books of the Bible and where to find them. It will soon become more of a journal rather than just a textbook.
Listen Actively. I benefit tremendously by turning off my phone and giving Pastor Ken my full attention. Taking notes also helps one to focus. This sets a nice example for the family and others. It shows that there is value in what’s being taught.
Take the reminder. In our culture, we grapple with the need to discover something new. Not all sermons offer something new. They can help us look at our problems in a new or fresh way. I don’t know about you, but I find that I need to be encouraged and reminded–repeatedly–on how to live a holy life.
Apply. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that someone else needs to hear this or that particular sermon. But what’s that big log sticking out of my eye? So try to single out one or two things for you to apply or meditate on during the week.
Share. When the sermon’s over, it’s not really over. Talk about it at lunch with your family. Blog about it. Pass it on through your social media networks. Here are some sermons my pastor did recently from the Book of Judges called Pass or Fail.
Thank your pastor. I realize that he’s not expecting it, but don’t forget to let your pastor know you appreciate him and that you are benefitting from his preaching.
How do you make the most of your pastor’s sermons?