Three Ways to Hear a Sermon

This Sunday I will preach another sermon. That comes as no surprise from a professional preacher. I usually speak at least 48 sermons a year not counting small group lessons, membership classes and special occasions.

With all the sermons that I deliver, I often feel like “these people have heard this all before.” Whenever I get that feeling, I remind myself that there is more than one way to hear a sermon.

1. Some sermons are designed for you. Some addresses are designed to teach, to encourage, to challenge, to remind and to reveal something new. Obviously one of the best types of sermons is those where you feel like you have grown as a Christian.

2. Some sermons say what you want to say. Several years ago, I learned that many people have the same thoughts, but only a few can articulate them well. This is one of the things I love about comedians. Many times they do not reveal any new truth, what they do is put into words the feelings I have held without saying them. Quite often a wonderful senior saint will tell me how good my sermon was that Sunday and I know they have heard all of that information before then, possibly many times. What they loved was that I said the words on their behalf to everyone.

3. Some sermons are for you to repeat. There are weeks that I teach the basics of the faith not just so that new people will hear it for the first time. It is also designed so that you will be able to turn around and effectively communicate it to your friends. I want to give you stories and explanations that you can use throughout your life to teach, encourage, challenge, and reveal truth to other people.

This week as you sit in the chair at whatever Church you attend I want you to ask yourself, “How should I hear this message?”

Each way requires a different set of ears. If you go only to listen for yourself, then you will have some very disappointing sermons. If you open yourself up to hearing the sermon in a new way, you may never be bored again. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. 😊

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