How to Prepare for a Sermon

God’s Word is powerful. The world was formed by the word of God (Heb 11:3). Souls are saved by the word of the Gospel (Rom 10:17). One day, Christ–the Word Himself–will judge the nations and establish His everlasting rule by the “sword” that comes out of his mouth (Rev 19:13-15). I’m thankful that our pastor takes a substantial amount of time to study the Word in sermon preparation each week.

But shouldn’t you be doing a little sermon prep of your own–I mean–if God’s word is really that crucial? Below are just a few random tips on preparing for a sermon:

  1. Start Saturday night. Christians have historically recognized the value of taking time to prepare for Sunday on Saturday night, at times even taking the evening to read Scripture and pray as a family. Obviously, what you do is up to you, but at least try to get yourself and your family to bed at a decent hour so that you can head to church well-rested (Here are more great tips for getting your family ready for Sunday).
  2. Be present — from start to finish. We do our best here at Bethel not to waste a minute of any of our services. So if you’re late, or leave early, you could be depriving yourself of something very valuable (by the way, the same goes for kids in Children’s Church). I realize this is especially hard for moms. If you’re having trouble in this area, sit down with your spouse and think through what you can do to avoid missing services. Dads: help your wife!
  3. Ask God for something. Now and then we go through “dry spells” in your spiritual life. The problem is that we settle for this lack of vitality as if it were normal. Why not spend a few moments in the car realizing your dire need for God and ask Him to work through His Word during the sermon?
  4. Sit up. You’re not a spectator–you’re a participant. Be an active listener; reach out and grab something from God’s Word!
  5. Sing. Praising God in song is not an option (Psalm 100:2; Eph 5:18-20; Col 3:16). And avoiding this indispensable part of our weekly gatherings will shrivel your ability to hear the word with eagerness. Stop worrying about what people think and praise your God.
  6. Bring your Bible. Your Bible. Don’t you think you’ll have something to write in the margins when God begins speaking in the sermon? Don’t you think you’ll want to bookmark a passage or two to study later? And by the way, we do use the Bible in Children’s Church too. So make sure the kids have a Bible as well.
  7. Write something down. I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of “taking notes.” I wasn’t a good note-taker in school, and maybe you weren’t either. But jotting down just a few key ideas during the sermon will help you think about God’s message and retain it better, even if you never go back to your notes.

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