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. A topical sermon may deal with particular challenges we face in life such as suffering, temptation, balancing family life etc. Sometimes the topic will be to do with apologetics and might deal with questions such as “Science and the Bible? Or “Can you prove that there is a God?”

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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, I’ve preached doctrinal series on The Trinity and on The Atonement. Some people have preached their way through a creed or statement of faith. Continue reading

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 long don’t they?  I remember the two young people who turned up at our FIEC church in Kent having been used to a quick ten minute homily at their local church and being shocked when the preacher hit the 45 minute mark. “45 minutes! That wasn’t a sermon! It was three sermons” they exclaimed. Continue reading

How to listen to sermons

We expect preachers to get some training on how to prepare and preach their sermons but what about training on how to listen to sermons?  Whilst this should not remove responsibility from the preacher to train hard and work hard at this important task, it may help each of us to get more out of church and to be better fed. Continue reading