Sermon listening

Most Christians listen to sermons weekly. And many listen to some other kind of biblical teaching during the week. How often is a second thought given about what exactly is going on in our mind when listening?

In other words, how do we listen?

Challies has a review of a book called Expository Listening by Ken Ramey which reminded me of my sermon notes this past Sunday.

The sermon was on how to listen to preaching. I found it helpful and thought I would share some notes I took. This is just a sketch and anything that may be missing is my own fault.  (I know that some might suggest to me ‘how to take better sermon notes’ and I’m ready to hear it!)

How Should We Listen to Preaching?

I. Listen Humbly
Come to church in need on Sunday morning. In need of God and His word.

Psalm 148:8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;the LORD loves the righteous.

Isaiah 42:16 And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

II. Listen Carefully

Listen as the Bereans did with Paul’s message.

Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

III. Listen Practically

Don’t just be people who know the Bible, but who do the Bible. Live out your faith.

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Three questions to ask:

  • How can the sermon help love God more?
  • How can the sermon help obey God more/better?
  • How can the sermon help serve others better?

IV. Listen Expectantly

Expect that God is going to do something amazing.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.


Prepare for Sunday worship by reading over the text for the upcoming sermon, pray, confess your sins and needs, get enough sleep and be on time.


How do you listen to sermons?
How should you listen to sermons?
What are some other beneficial ideas you’d like to share?

*All Scripture used above is from the ESV translation.

Let's connect!

tagged as , in Church Issues,Sermons,theology

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 terry April 29, 2010 at 9:32 pm

We found that sermon really helpful too! In fact, I realized my husband was ” praying the sermon points” at dinner that day.. I thought, well, that stuck!

Also, I love that you are quoting Barnard. I GREW UP on his preaching! ( KY and W VA). I can still see him shaking his bony finger and telling stories that would curl your hair 🙂

2 Mark April 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Terry, thanks for dropping by. I got to talk with your husband the other night. I’ll have to ask him about this sermon when I see him next.

I hope many found it edifying. More importantly, I hope we can all be disciplined in using the instruction. 🙂


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