By Nathan Rouse
What if I told you that you could multiply the effectiveness of your pastor’s next sermon? That’s right, you! There’s a long-held myth that the only one doing anything that matters during a sermon is the preacher. Wrong. Dead wrong. Believe it or not, preaching is a team sport. What you do while a message is preached is crucial.
Now, I’m not going to ask you what you’ve been doing during the weekly sermon. I know you haven’t been scrolling through your news feed, texting, or thinking about where you’re going to go for lunch.
What I do know is that if you do these three things it will change everything. Here they are:
- Offer up Prayers: This is such a holy moment. The Word of God is being opened to build up the body of Christ. Prepare your heart to get all you can. Take a brief moment and pray a prayer of expectation: “Lord, I’m open to whatever you want to speak to me.” While you’re at it, pray for your pastor. Your pastor no doubt has prayed and prepared for this moment, but they’re human. Pray that God would give them strength, boldness, clarity, and power to preach what God desires.
- Capture the Truths that Stick: Move from being a passive listener to being an active listener by taking down key thoughts that impact you on your smartphone, in a journal, if you have to on the back of an offering envelope! Even if the message doesn’t seem relevant to your current life, decide to tuck these truths into the future toolbox of your life for when you do. Taking these down will help you stay engaged and walk away with truths to process long after the message is over.
- Look for the Next Step: It’s one thing to listen, it’s another to listen for growth. Your pastor is not preaching to simply provide a knowledge transaction. They’re always preaching toward a response. Be on the lookout for the moment of decision in the message when you’ll make the leap toward applying a truth to your life or stepping into a deeper place of intimacy with Jesus. Don’t assume there’s not a next step. There always is.
- Share the Love: Don’t keep what you’ve heard to yourself. Share it! You could spread the word on social media or with a friend over a cup of coffee with a friend. Spread.
**This article originally appeared on NathanRouse.org.