Listen Up! Seven Ingredients For Healthy Sermon Listening
This week, we continue with our fifth blog post from the book called Listen Up from Christopher Ash. This follows nicely our last post about hearing the sermon in church. Specifically, the importance of hearing the sermon within the context of a church community. This week, we focus on the importance of being in church week by week.
One of the things we need to do when listening to sermons is have a “today” urgency, says Ash. This means that we need to listen today, repent today and believe today. Occasionally, when hearing a sermon, it will be exactly what we needed to hear when we needed to hear it. But what about those other times (which may be most) when the passage may not be what we think we need today? This is where we need to trust that God knows what we need much better than we do. I remember the early part of my walk being characterized by a hope and desire that the passage preached that week would speak specifically to a particular situation in my life. According to Ash, the Bible was never intended to work like that. We often say that we want to hear God speaking to us today. The good news is that He does, but oftentimes He will not teach what we think we need to hear that day. Becoming like Christ takes time and happens not through quick fixes but through faithful, obedient hearing and responding to Him in submission and trust. We need to start learning it today so that it can change us now. As we take in this teaching week by week, it is there we will find that we will become more and more changed into Christlikeness as it permeates all areas of our lives. This starts with prayer that God will continue to work in and through us as we hear the word.
3 PRACTICAL STEPS
1. Keep count for 6 months or a year how often you’re in your local church to hear the sermon. Note different reasons you’re not there.
2. If you find you’re away more than you realized, take some practical diary action to make sure you’re there more regularly. (i.e. come back from vacation on Saturday)
3. Be aware of others in your local church as you listen to the sermon.