Apr 2

Are You Easily Edified?

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link,Recommended Resources

We know that the preacher and service leaders have a job to do on Sunday morning. That’s obvious enough.

But what about the congregation?

Colossians 3:16 tells us, for example, that we are all involved in singing: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” That we are all involved in singing shouldn’t come as much surprise. But this principle of participation applies to our hearing of the Word as well, as James 1:22 says, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

In short, when we come together around the Word, we should come easily edified. We should hear in order to apprehend, absorb, and appropriate the God’s Word. Sermon listening is not a passive activity.

That’s the point made by Jay Thomas in his helpful post, “Easily Edified.” Below is the intruduction to his post, followed by five points he goes on to make. Go here to read the whole post, including an expansion on each of the five points below.

I recently ran across a statement that has stuck with me. It is this: spiritually mature people are easily edified. . . .What does that mean? There are some people who are almost always blessed by sermons. They do not need to be coaxed into a sermon. The introduction, supporting material, and conclusion are not that important to them. The mannerisms, inflections, and voice command of the preacher are not the make it or break it parts of a sermon for them. They listen closely, but to the right stuff, not the side comments or statement a preacher makes that often trip up and cause many listeners to over analyze or get distracted. The irony is these people often have a great deal of Bible knowledge. They should be the pickiest listeners, but they aren’t. Why?

The easily edified person has a built in hunger, curiosity, and receptivity to the Word of God. By the time the preacher takes the pulpit, they are ready, Bible open, heart unfurled, happy to take in the Word of God – even when it rebukes.

1. Don’t expect the preacher to be the totality of your spiritual interaction every week.
2. Pray for God to give you a love for the Bible.
3. Put to death a critical spirit.
4. Focus on the content and faithfulness.
5. Keep short accounts with the preacher if there is a relational issue that is getting in the way.

For a helpful resource on the subject of good sermon listening, check out, Expository Listening: A Practical Handbook for Hearing and Doing God’s Word, available at the Resource Center.