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How to prepare for next week’s sermon

September 7, 2015

Student - BoredFortunate are those Christian’s whose pastor preaches straight through a book of the Bible one section at a time. Those believers who know what to expect from the pulpit each week have a great advantage in preparing themselves for the preaching of the Word. Knowing what is coming up next week provides a great opportunity for the Christian to study ahead and ready his heart to hear the preaching of the Word. Here are some suggestions to help you get ready for next week’s message.

Read and re-read the book being studied. Some books can be read in a single sitting. Some may require breaking down into smaller sections to read a piece at a time throughout the week. Most books of the Bible can be read once or twice a month by reading a chapter a day. Reading regularly through a single book of the Bible is not out of reach for most Christians and will be of great use when it comes time to listen to the message. The process of reading through a book of the Bible over and over will help the hearer become more familiar with the overall theme and flow of the book. As the pastor preaches the hearer will be well grounded in the particular passage and it’s role in the overall teaching of the book.

Do not stop with reading, but study ahead. If the pastor announces ahead of time the upcoming sermon, you have an opportunity to dig into the text for yourself. Study the selected section. As you study seek to discover the major theme of the section. Create your own outline of the passage or summarize in a sentence or two the entire paragraph. Apply the methods and principles you follow in your devotional Bible study to the passage being presented from the pulpit in the upcoming week. Take note of the people, places, major events and key doctrinal truths in the section. Find the explanation of difficult words or concepts in the passage. Read through good commentaries to learn how great preachers of the past have taught the passage. Just an hour or two of study during the week will greatly aid your understanding and appreciation of the pastor’s message on Sunday.

As you read and study, pray. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you understanding of the Word. Pray for the Spirit to apply the Word to your own life. Pray for the pastor to have understanding and wisdom as he studies. Pray for a heart ready to hear and quick to obey. Pray the passage. Claim it’s promises. Pray for strength to obey it’s commands. Pray the accomplishment of God’s revealed purposes. Pray through the text that it may saturate your soul.

Spend time during the week to ready yourself for the preaching of the Word on Sunday. Keep in mind the goal of Biblical preaching is not to impress the hearer with the creative, alliterative, illustrative and oratorical abilities of the preacher. Expositional preaching aims to teach the hearer the truths of the Word and apply the truths of the Word to the individual life. The process of explanation and application is richly benefited when the hearer comes to the service with a good understanding of the truths found in a section of Scripture. The application of the Word will be much more effective when the Holy Spirit has been teaching and applying the passage to your heart throughout the week. This kind of study prepares the heart of the hearer to receive maximum benefit from the pulpit ministry. When God’s Word percolates in the heart all week long, the impact of the Word will be much stronger.

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