Listening to Sermons

CONTRIBUTED BY OWEN MULDER

We have high expectations of the sermons we hear. Most I think would admit that we are looking for profound insights, new information, and life-changing application.

Sometimes sermons deliver this, and that’s fantastic.

But such expectations, week on week, are not realistic. In fact, I’d argue they are not appropriate, since sermons are not actually designed to give us this.

Instead, sermons are designed to be our spiritual food for the week. That’s it, just the next seven days.

They may have a bigger and longer lasting impact than that – but they don’t have to. Because each week you return to church, and receive more food.

Seeing sermons in this way will help manage our expectations of the sermon – easing the pressure on the preacher and easing our own listening, as we no longer search for the life changing lightning bolt.

Focus on the application of the sermon for just the next 7 days. And then return, to be fed again.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11