Monday, April 27, 2015

Do I come into a church service ready to 'listen' to God?

Today I read an article that really made me consider my 'listening skills'.

"What is it like for you to listen to a sermon? What do you experience when you sit and listen to a someone speak about the Bible? Once you've heard a sermon, what do you do? (Yawn? "Glad that's over!" "What's for lunch?") You might not even remember what was said—it was over your head, boring, too complicated, not connected to your world.

I can understand that. I'm a professional sermon listener—I teach preaching and communicating (in an educational setting) and I've listened to thousands of student's sermons. And, yes, sometimes I have no idea what the speaker was talking about!

The concept of remembering—or not remembering—what the speaker said isn't a new idea. For centuries men and women have walked away from sermons or teaching, and didn't remember what was said. In fact, it didn't make any difference in their lives.

My advice: Lean into what God is saying to you and you'll become a better listener.

We begin to discover what this means when we look at Psalm 78:1. God is talking directly to his followers. —"my people."  He cares that they hear what he has to say. He wants their full attention. Both lines of the first verse say the same thing: "Listen".

To "open up your ears" means to 'put yourself in a position to hear God.' It's a poetic way of saying: get ready to tune in or listen up."

So, instead of blaming the speaker...maybe I need to ask myself some questions...
Do I come into a church service ready to 'listen' to what God wants to say to me?
Have I placed myself in a position ready to hear what God wants to say to me?

--excerpt from "How to Listen to a Sermon"--an article written by Scott Gibson