Preparing Your Hearts and Minds

What do you do to prepare yourself for the gathering of God’s people on Sunday? Do you even take any time to prepare for this special meeting, or are you too concerned with getting there on time with everyone’s clothes on and hair combed?

One of the things I’ve been pondering lately is how I can help people to prepare for Sunday worship. Should we encouraged people to read and ponder the passage that will be preached the next week? Should we give thoughts for people to think about throughout the coming week? And if we do this, how many people would actually put in the effort to read and prepare?

It seems to me that many people assume that the only person who needs to prepare for Sunday’s worship service is the pastor. Yet Luke 8:18 says, “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” Those in the congregation need to attentively and actively listen.

A blog titled ‘Let the Word of Christ Dwell in You Richly‘ has the following example of this in the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Bonhoeffer ran an underground seminary for theological students during the oppressive years of Nazi Germany. He was a very intelligent man who possessed immense critical capabilities. But in his homiletics classes as he listened to his students preaching, he always set aside his pencil and listened intently with his Bible open before him – no matter how poor the sermon was.

He believed that the preaching of God’s Word ought to be attended as if he were listening to the very voice of God. That is how I try to listen too – always looking to the text, always engaged, always thinking, always praying.

Jesus has called us to be sure we really hear the Word of God.

How attentively do you listen to the sermons in your church? How do you prepare for the Word to be preached? And if you do not do either of these things, why don’t you?

–For more on how to listen to a sermon, check out this blog.

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