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”

Breaking it down and finding the flow

I’ve been writing a few posts about how I study a passage in the Bible in order to give you a feel for how to go about the close textual analysis involved in exegesis. This should be helpful to anyone who is planning to preach, lead a Bible study, teach a youth group or evenContinue reading “Breaking it down and finding the flow”

Hymn Wars: What our contemporary worship lacks

There are some internal Christian disagreements that raise their head just when you least expect them to.  Worship wars is one of them. There has been a long history of seeing the contemporary music of your era as deficient to tradition and compromised. At the same time, those writing newer hymns and songs have determinedlyContinue reading “Hymn Wars: What our contemporary worship lacks”

Preparing that delicious (spiritual) meal

In a recent article, I suggested that people sometimes feel like they aren’t fed in church because it is like raw, bloodied meat, substantial but unappetising. Others feel unfed because the meal is all sauce and no meat.  So I thought I’d double down on that imagery! I want to suggest to you that whilstContinue reading “Preparing that delicious (spiritual) meal”