listening to sermons
"Let the word of God dwell richly within you." Col 3:16
Each of our services includes a sermon for a very good reason. God is a God who speaks! What defines us as Christians is that we hear the voice of our good shepherd and try to shape our lives in line with the Father's voice. Whenever a sermon is preached, there are two things that need to happen. The preacher needs to prepare and speak in such a way that the full potential of God's word can be spoken, and the hearer needs to prepare and listen in such a way that it can have full effect. I take responsibility for increasing the training and feedback for preachers, and encouraging them in their faithful service. We are all hearers and I offer the following as a manifesto for preachers and hearers alike. As preachers we will seek to:
- Faithfully present God’s word following careful and prayerful preparation.
- Live out the things we have learnt in the preparation.
- Honour God above ourselves and try to keep growing in the skills of prayer, research and presentation that we need to preach well.
- We will try to present things in ways that are interesting and accessible and not be afraid of helpful feedback.
- We will not preach if we cannot for any reason speak with integrity.
- We will value the supportive prayers of those who hear us.
As listeners we will seek to:
- Listen with open ears to what God might be saying to us.
- Pray for the preacher, for whatever he or she needs to speak well.
- Make a careful mental or paper note of the things that seem significant.
- Prayerfully reflect on how God’s word could be usefully put into practice. “Let the word of God dwell richly”, by holding on to it, discussing it with others or following it up with my own readings or prayers.
- Be publicly supportive and encouraging of our preachers.