How to Get the Most out of a Sermon

As a child of God, you will hear a good number of sermons throughout your life.  Between Sunday School, Sunday morning service, Sunday evening service and the Wednesday night prayer meeting, you should have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow through the teaching and preaching of God’s word!  Preaching is a powerful tool that God uses to get a message across to his people.  Unfortunately, God’s message doesn’t always make it to the intended recipient for a variety of reasons.

Have you ever sat through a 30-minute sermon and not been able to remember what it was about when you get home?  I definitely have!  As a teenager, I often sat in services and got little to nothing from the preaching… but then I realized, that’s not always the preacher’s fault!  Sure, the preacher has a lot of responsibility in his study and delivery of the sermon, but there are also things that we can do to ensure that we are getting the most out of each sermon!  If you follow these 5 steps, you will start maximizing each sermon and its impact on your life!

  1. Have Proper Preparation
    1. Pray for the Sermon – We often make the mistake of thinking that it is 100% up to the preacher to pray and prepare for each message. Make it a habit to pray for the preacher leading up to each service.
    2. Remove Any Distractions – Distractions can come in all shapes and sizes. For most people, cell phones are their biggest distractions.  One simple text or Facebook notification can derail your train of thought and prevent you from focusing during a sermon!  Just silence your phone (or turn it off), your notifications can wait!
    3. Take Notes – This has been the single biggest help for me personally! Taking notes has helped me focus and anticipate each point the preacher makes!  Just try it out!
  2. Have the Right Attitude
    1. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” – Philippians 2:5
    2. Desire Improvement – You should walk into each service looking for ways to improve different areas of your life. Don’t be satisfied with merely attending a service!
    3. Realize the Preacher’s Heart – Preachers will preach on just about anything (the whole counsel of God), but one thing that should be consistent is that they are preaching truth from the Bible. Too often, someone will get upset or offended and not come back because of something the preacher said in his sermon.  We need to realize that the preacher isn’t out to get anyone, he is out to get sin!  The truth isn’t always easy to hear, but we need to hear it!
  3. Encourage the Preacher
    1. “And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” – Nehemiah 8:6
    2. Say “Amen” – You will be surprised how much difference saying “amen” will make for your services! Many people think they have a boring preacher, but it might be because your preacher has a boring congregation!  Saying “amen” simply lets the preacher know that you agree with what he is saying and that you are listening!  Some people are embarrassed to say “amen” because they don’t want to be a distraction… encouraging your preacher is not a distraction!
  4. Handle Conviction Properly
    1. Embrace conviction – Conviction is how the Holy Spirit lets you know that God wants you to do something. Conviction can be scary at first, but eventually you need to learn to run toward it, not away from it!  Conviction is generally the Holy Spirit letting us know what we are doing wrong.  No one wants to hear what they are doing wrong, but in order to improve, we need to know what to fix!
    2. Don’t Miss Out – Conviction can easily be missed without proper preparation and the right attitude! You can sit through the perfect sermon that God has prepared for you but miss out on the conviction because of a well-timed text message.  Don’t get the devil options to distract you with!
  5. Apply the Sermon
    1. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – II Cor 5:17
    2. Don’t Just Attend… Apply! – Attending a good church is a great thing for every Christian to do. It’s the perfect place for godly fellowship, spirit-filled worship, and God-honoring preaching!  But it doesn’t do any good to listen to 2-3 sermons every week if we never apply what we have heard!
    3. Use the Altar – The altar is a special place where you can get serious with God. In the Old Testament, the altar was designed to bring a sacrifice to God and leave without it!  The same is true with the altar today… we bring our burdens and convictions to the altar, give them to God and leave changed!  There are two times you should go to the altar… 1) When God speaks to you and 2) When God doesn’t speak to you!

Don’t miss the opportunity to get what God has for you in the next sermon!  Apply these simple principles and take full advantage of God’s message!

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