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How to profit from the Sunday morning sermon

April 4, 2016

It’s Monday morning. Yesterday you heard at least one sermon. I hope. Maybe you heard several messages over the course of the day. Do you remember what was preached? What was the main text of the message? What was the key point? What application did the pastor make? Remembering an entire 30 minute message is an unreasonable expectation. There is a helpful piece of territory that lies between remembering all the pastor said and forgetting all that was said. This middle ground is a place where Christians can learn and grow from the public preaching and teaching of Scriptures. So how can you profit the most from the instruction in God’s Word you heard yesterday?

  • If you know ahead of time what your pastor is going to preach then study ahead. In the days before Sunday read the passage several times. Read some commentaries about the text. Jot down the key thoughts of the passage. Make some notes about how the passage applies to your life at this time. Don’t leave to your pastor all the preparation for the Sunday messages.
  • When you enter into the service itself ready yourself to hear the Word. Seek to shut out the distractions of the week. Don’t let your mind wander on to events later that day. Pray for the preacher, the congregation and yourself. Pray for understanding of the word. Pray for instruction, comfort, encouragement, conviction, training and equipping.
  • If you are angry with the pastor confess your sin. You will not be in a right frame of mind to hear the Word if you do not like the man presenting the Word.
  • If you have unresolved conflict with others in the church resolve it right away. You will not be able to worship God or receive the Word if your are at odds with your brother.
  • As he preaches the pastor will make application of the text. As you listen the Holy spirit will apply the text to your life. Write down those applications.
  • Pay attention and take notes. Writing down the main points of the message will help you keep your attention on the pastor and to remember the most important parts. Try to summarize the entire message in one sentence. Write down key ideas that come across during the communication of the message. These key ideas are not necessarily the most quotable phrases, but the the ones that communicate the truth most effectively. The pastor may be pithy but true profit is in profundity.
  • Write down your best understanding of the most important things the pastor is saying. Attempt to write these ideas down in your own words to help solidify your mental grasp of what’s being said.
  • After you leave churhc meditate on the truths you learned. Make an intentional effort to remember one or two major elements. Rehearse those elements in your mind throughout the day and the rest of the week.
  • Talk to others about the message. In your own words communicate the major ideas and key applications of the passage. Tell others how the Holy Spirit applied the passage to your own life. Talking to others helps make the ideas more concrete, provides repition in your hearing of the truth and helps you work through concepts you may not have fully understood on the first hearing.
  • As the pastor is preaching make a note of things you want to study out later. Let the Sunday sermon launch you into other studies of the Word.
  • Look for opportunity to put into practice the application of the message. The best way to remember something is to do it. Look for one or two specific ways you can live out the truth of the message in your life during the week. Then do it.

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


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