HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF A SERMON

Sometimes when we find ourselves bored or distracted through the sermon, or we feel like the messages aren’t impacting our lives, our natural tendency is to blame … yes, you guessed it … the preacher.

But I’ve noticed that sometimes the problem is not so much with the preacher as it is with the hearer. If we’re not benefiting from the preaching, the fault may not always lie with the one doing the preaching. It may lie in our readiness to hear, to receive, and to respond to God’s Word.

The fact is that two people can listen to the very same message, and one can be bored and unmoved, and the other can be convicted and his life is transformed. Years ago after a sermon I preached on prayer I had a man tell me, “That one really didn’t do it for me.” I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I knew it wasn’t a compliment. Exactly two minutes later, a woman came to me in tears thanking me for the powerful sermon. She told me, “It was exactly what I needed in my life today.” What made the difference? I’m not sure, but here are 10 things that might help you get the most out the sermon…

  1. Come excited about getting a word from God.
  2. Start and end the sermon by praying and asking God to speak to you today though the speaker.
  3. Focus on what’s being said, not on what’s going on around you.
  4. Take notes.
  5. Follow along in your Bible.
  6. Look for applications that you can make in your own life.
  7. Expect to get something good from the lesson.
  8. Don’t be critical.
  9. Open your heart and mind.
  10. Expect a spiritual feast. Hopefully the preacher where you attend will have a table full of spiritual food. Hopefully he will present the bread of life. And hopefully you will eat a great spiritual meal. But you must apply it, study your Bible, pray during the week, get involved and dig deeper with others. If you can’t help feed yourself … then a church will never be able to “feed you.” Get your own spiritual fork, and learn to feed yourself some. Serve. Pray. Practically apply the Bible to your life everyday.

Now get out there and enjoy a great message from God this Sunday!

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There’s a new sermon available on the sermon page if you’re interested …. “What Jesus thinks about our worrying!”

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
16 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Anonymous says:

    http://www.cocnet.us/forum/phpBB3

    username
    member

    password
    apple

    Brandon Voss

    ps. Trey Please! Register!!

  2. Alan Gable says:

    Mom used to say, “Bored people are boring people.” So stinkin smart!

    Thanks Trey.

  3. Falantedios says:

    My mom-in-law says that it isn’t about getting something out of church, it is about bringing something to church.

    I tend to apply that to my sermon hearing. If I bring my attention, my hope, my hunger, “God will supply all your needs through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    From a different perspective, I think we put a LOT of expectation on our preaching ministers. I don’t go to church expecting the sermon to “do it” for me, and I try to teach others not to, either. Rather, I try to encourage prayerful listening, and focus on what is REALLY going on when we assemble. How we’re (hopefully) making a mockery of the powers of this world by something as simple and beautiful as gathering around a table, listening to one another, praying for one another.

    I fear that only doing it a couple hours a week doesn’t make MUCH of a mockery, though.

    in HIS love,
    Nick

    PS – I just realized I kinda rambled there… Sorry… I hope I didn’t hijack things too badly.

  4. brian says:

    yep!

    of course, you lazy preacher should just work harder so your church shouldn’t have to, right?

    brian

  5. Matthew says:

    I have been finding myself loving the opportunity to hear a sermon. Maybe it is that I do not have the chance much, but hearing preaching is great.

  6. preacherman says:

    Trey,
    Great post.
    Awesome list!

  7. Mommysmart says:

    What a great picture!

  8. That Girl says:

    I want to be that way. I’m just too negative. I’m working on it but I still get caught up in the yuckiness of it all

  9. John Roberts says:

    I always tell folks that I want everybody to get something out of my sermons, if nothing more than a good nap! (Hopefully they’ll keep their snoring to a minimum.)

    But seriously, I’ve had the same experience of a sermon affecting people in drastically different ways. It tells me that there is more going on than simply my words – especially for the person who says it was exactly what they needed to hear.

  10. Greg says:

    Love the graphic! Of the points you make, I think #1 is the more important one. Having preached for 3 decades before resigning from that calling, I find myself listening more and more to Calvary Chapel preachers here where we live. Don’t agree with all they say, but for the most part they present very good teaching and I find it far more meaningful than listening to most of the music we can find out here.

  11. leslie says:

    i like your list…though i may have to argue 8.

    getting something out of every sermon doesn’t have the same urgency when i’m in the word or conversation other days of the week. i find i am more apt to listen as a student than critic, too.

    an aside: what age do you think children start to benefit from sitting in assembly during the sermon? and in what way? just curious of your opinion.

  12. john dobbs says:

    Excellent as always, Trey.

  13. Brandon Price says:

    I remember a story about a little boy in the church I grew up in. His mom over heard him talking to his friend one time, whom they had recently been bringing to church with them. They were talking about how boring church was and the woman’s son said, “You know, one thing I’ve found that helps is if you actually listen to what the preacher is saying.”

  14. Anonymous says:

    Trey thanks! for joining the forum and now I have made it open to all so please! come join the forum!
    http://www.cocnet.us/forum/phpBB3

    Brandon Voss

  15. TREY MORGAN says:

    Hey guys … I really appreciated the comments and the ribbing I took on this. Love the fact that preachers can “poke fun” at themselves and one another.

    Leslie – As for children getting things out of the sermon… I think the answer lies in the child and in the preacher. Some preachers are very tough for children to relate to and children struggle to get something out of it. Other ministers can relate to all ages (which is a blessing) and children should be trying to get something. Some children are more mature than others too. My children started catching stories and thoughts from the lesson pretty early (6-7).

    I have encouraged my small children to listen by (1) giving them lists of words from my sermon that they can listen for and put a mark by those words when they hear me say them. Then they see which word I used most. (2) We also asked at Sunday lunch after church “What was 1 thing that the preacher preached about?” And they better have something. I guess that’s called accountability :)

    I don’t know that the answer helps much … but that’s my thoughts.

  16. Holy says:

    Well stated…

    in addition, most people place too much weight on the pastor /preacher…they spend little to no time feeding themselves spiritually (reading the Bible, praying etc) during the week, and expect the pastor/preacher to give them some sort of miraculous Spiritual B-12 shot to get them through the week…

    Thanks for sharing this :)

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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