How To Listen To A Message
Jul 25, 2021 | by Mike Prah
How to Listen to a Sermon by Pastor Mike Prah
You mean there’s a good way to listen to a sermon? Yes. The teaching of God’s Word is the central ingredient of our time in corporate worship. Here’s a quick guide to help you make the most of our time each week:
1. Take it in
Come with an open mind, ready to learn. And come on time—the teaching time doesn’t start when the pastor stands at the pulpit. From the first moment of the service, God is speaking and blessing His people through the prayers, music, video, communion, and the sermon. If you come just for the “preaching,” you’re missing half of what God wants to tell you and do in your life! When you come to the worship service, come to take it all in. The Bible says, "God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV).
2. Write it down
Scholars tell us that your ability to retain what you learn increases 80% when you write it down, rather than just hearing it. Weekly, we provide a “fill in the blanks” sermon outline to help you follow along—but don’t stop there. Write additional thoughts, questions, and scripture references in the margins. If you watch our messages online, we provide an interactive e-note to take notes and email yourself. You can also take notes on your note pad app found on your smartphone. Write as if you had to reteach it from your notes (hopefully, you will). God says, "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets" (Habakkuk 2:2 NIV).
3. Think it over
Use your notes during the week to begin to apply the message to your life. Look back over key points and Scripture. When you pray, ask God to reveal areas of your life that can be affected and changed by what you’ve heard and learned. If your finished notes stay stuck between the pages of your Bible for the rest of their existence, they aren’t doing you or anyone else much good. Come to our Church website and re-watch our sermon videos. Repetition is the key to memorization.
The Lord wants to reveal His heart through His Word to you. He wants you to receive insight and revelation regarding what His Word says about every situation you face. God wants you to have the necessary insight for every problem you face so that you can come out victorious. But to receive His answers, you need to reflect on His Word. The Bible says, "Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this" (2 Timothy 2:7 NIV).
4. Live it out.
Hearing, understanding, and applying God’s Word will have a visible effect on your life. Your attitudes, actions, dreams, goals, plans, focus, family relationships, business dealings—all of these will be influenced and even profoundly changed by God’s Word when you commit to live out what you are learning. So practice what you’ve heard, and the miracle of life change will occur in your life! Jesus said, “Even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice” (Luke 11:28 NLT).