A preacher posted recently that someone had commented to him, “sermons are ineffective because they are forgotten by the time people get to the restaurant after church.” This statement concerned me because I feel the person who suggested this idea to the preacher put preachers in a negative light (probably not intentionally). I, like you, have heard someone complain from time to time about the preaching, the message, or the presentation. As I have tried to grow spiritually, I’ve learned the hearer has as much of a responsibility to the sermon as the speaker. If the hearer has trouble remembering what the message was during the week, here are some suggestions:
Pray. A day or two prior to Sunday (or when the lesson will be presented), pray and plan so no interruptions will limit your ability to pay attention. Be mentally prepared to hear.
Limit distractions. Put electronic devices out of arms reach. Do not sit with someone you are tempted to talk to. Find a place to sit so you can hear and see the presentation.
Listen Actively. Take notes on the handout or in a notebook designated for Bible class lessons or sermon notes. Study those notes on your own or with a family member (home devotional) throughout the week. Read ahead and prepare if the Bible class or sermon is part of a series of topics (do your homework).
Repeat. Go back and listen to the sermon on the church’s website for reinforcement.
I have to remind myself in order to gain something, I must invest something (time, effort). Preachers prepare but we must participate (2 Peter 1:5).
South Green Street church of Christ