I am not getting a lot out of my pastor’s sermons. What can I do?

It is Sunday morning, you walk into the church auditorium looking forward to the singing and worship but dreading the long boring sermon. Your mind wanders, thinking about what you will be doing the rest of the day.

Preaching has two sides: speaking and listening. The person in the pulpit has the responsibility of making his sermons listenable, clear and relevant. If he fails, not much will happen. But God makes it clear that the person in the pew has a responsibility too.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

James 1:21

James instructed his readers to “receive with meekness the implanted word.” Good preaching is pointless if there is not also good listening. The person who comes to church must prepare his mind and be willing to do his part, just as the minister must do his.

Suppose you were the relative of a very wealthy man and you were invited to hear the reading of his will. He had told you that you were named in the document. How do you suppose you’d listen? You would be leaning forward, straining to hear every word. That’s what the word receive means in James 1:21. We are to accept God’s Word as we would the news of an inheritance, enthusiastically and eagerly.

God not only wants us to listen, but also obey.

But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves …he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:22,25

A good way to stay focus is to take notes. And in those notes, write how you can be obedient to what scripture commands. Write something about God that you heard in the sermon. Hold God’s Word as important, something to be cherished. Pray that your heart and spirit connects with God.