I just read an article on The Australian website which states “Researchers believe listening skills have since fallen amid more multitasking and interruptions.” (click here for the article)
Not good news for the average preacher!
But listening to sermons is actually hard. Why? Because listening to anything requires attention and so application and exertion is necessary—which is all about effort. As going to the footy requires a willingness to concentrate and desire to keep the mind on the job; so listening to a sermon requires similar dedication. But what makes it easier is the anticipation of some joy. Which is why it matters what you think is happening in a sermon. Is it just someone sharing some thoughts about their week?
A really helpful booklet that is designed to help people in the pew mature as God’s Children is Christopher Ash’s book Listen up! A practical guide to listening to sermons. Ash’s first point: Expect God to speak. See, it matters what you think is happening in a sermon and how God can use weak vessels to witness to the heavenly realms!
A preview of the booklet is here. Good reading and then listening!