Listen Up! Seven Ingredients For Healthy Sermon Listening
This week, we continue with the fourth of the blog post series from the short book called Listen Up from Christopher Ash. The last post looked at how we should check to make sure that the preacher is preaching a message that is true to the Scripture. This week, we’ll look at why we should be hearing the message in church.
Have you ever heard of the term “Bedside Baptist”? I remember Sunday mornings, earlier in my walk, how easy it was to convince myself that I didn’t really need to go to church to hear a sermon especially when I could hear it from the comfort of my own bed. “What’s the difference?” I thought. Oftentimes we associate the church with a building, a place to worship. The word church literally means an “assembly” of men and women who gather together says Christopher Ash. In fact, the Word of God calls us to come together to hear the Word of God (Deuteronomy 4:10) and be shaped to become a Christlike people.
According to Ash, there are benefits to hearing the Word preached together. First is being accountable to one another for our response to the sermon. Although we may tend to “drift” off during a sermon, we still have some sense of accountability to those who would see us and may ask us what the sermon was about. Another benefit is the encouragement we can give one another when we hear the same message and then respond together. By allowing the Bible to shape us, the people of God, we can ask the question “What is God saying to us?” I know from personal experience how important this is. There’s nothing better than to discuss a sermon with fellow listeners so we can help one another grow in Christlikeness and in application of the truths. Listening alone can make this a little challenging. Ultimately, there are many benefits to hearing the Word together but the biggest reason of all is that God has called us to do this and we are blessed when we are obedient to Him.