The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand

Listen up!: A practical guide to listening to sermons (Helps church members to learn from God’s word)

Taking Jesus’ words, “Consider carefully how you listen” (Luke 8:18), Christopher Ash gives us some useful advice on how to listen to sermons with seven positive ways followed by three on how to listen to bad preaching.

Each section is very short and begins with an example which compares two people and their different attitudes to attending church and listening to sermons. Ash gives a few paragraphs of guidance on each heading and then offers some very practical steps we can take to improve our listening in that regard. The language is very simple and jargon-free and extremely easy to read.

He then gives advice on how to listen to three types of bad preaching – dull, biblically inaccurate and heretical. By the way the advice on that last one is `don’t!’ He closes with seven suggestions for encouraging good preaching: pray for the preachers and tell them you are praying for them; be there and thank them afterwards; be prepared to be constructively and supportively critical; relate to your preachers and be on the look out for those with gifts of preaching and encourage them.

As Ash says, there are countless books on preparing and preaching sermons but almost none on listening to them. This is an extremely useful corrective, and small and cheap enough to allow most churches to buy a copy for all their congregation which is something I would warmly commend.

The Good Book Company (26 Mar. 2009) Review written in 2012

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