Expository Worship

In his book “Nine Marks of a healthy Church” Mark Dever makes Expositional Preaching his first and most important mark of healthy church life.[1]  I want to suggest that Dever is right to give expositional preaching such a central position but that he does not go far enough. Why is Expositional Preaching so important? DeverContinue reading “Expository Worship”

How to listen to sermons together

Sermons are not meant to be listened to on your own.  The very nature of preaching is that it is a corporate exercise, something that the whole church family shares in together.  So how do we stop our response from being individualistic? Pray together before listening What about getting together with a few people beforeContinue reading “How to listen to sermons together”

How to listen to sermons when it’s the last thing you feel like doing

Sometimes the last thing you want to be doing is listening to a sermon.  It might simply be that you are exhausted and too tired to take in what is being said, sometimes it’s because what is being said is too painful, too close to the bone, sometimes it’s the other extreme, what is beingContinue reading “How to listen to sermons when it’s the last thing you feel like doing”

How to listen to character study sermons

Years ago my dad did a series of Bible studies which he called “An A-Z of Old Testament Characters.” I’m not sure if he managed to find someone for every letter, but there was certainly enough mileage to keep the series going for a good while.  It’s no surprise that character studies have proved popular.Continue reading “How to listen to character study sermons”

How to listen to evangelistic sermons (when you already are a Christian)

At any one time in a gathering there will be Christians and non-Christians present. This presents the preacher with a challenge.  Does he primarily focus on preaching to the Christians to edify and build them up or does he focus on evangelising the enquirers. Either way, he risks leaving part of the audience behind. OrContinue reading “How to listen to evangelistic sermons (when you already are a Christian)”

How to listen to topical sermons

Instead of focusing on a specific Bible passage and drawing out the things it has to say, a topical sermon starts with an issue and tries to find out what the Bible says about it. For example, the sermon might deal with an issue in church life such as prayer, giving, worship or evangelism. AContinue reading “How to listen to topical sermons”

How to listen to doctrinal sermons

Sometimes the aim of a sermon is to help us grasp a specific Biblical truth more clearly. This should not surprise us. We keep insisting that what we believe affects how we live.  We may use a one off sermon or even a short series of sermons to teach on a particular doctrine. For example,Continue reading “How to listen to doctrinal sermons”

How to listen to expository sermons

Are you sitting comfortably? The answer is “probably not” if you are in the typical church pew or crammed into a packed hall with little leg room.  So hopefully the sermon will be short, sharp and snappy though you’ve got a feeling that it might not be.  Expository sermons have a reputation for being longContinue reading “How to listen to expository sermons”

Food for the long haul

The work of the word is long term and wholistic not short term and piecemeal Relevant? As we have been discussing, facing a major crisis like a pandemic and a lockdown will take more than occasional disjointed thoughts. We need to see the big picture of who God is and what his plans and purposesContinue reading “Food for the long haul”