Take Care How You listen

Sales-Methodology-ListeningHow often do we leave the church service unaffected? How about unchallenged? How frequently do we go home invigorated, encouraged or, dare I say it, changed? Going to church can easily equal going through the motions. Why? One reason is easily overlooked: we come unprepared.

“Hey, be happy we’re here”, a father and mother of three small children may protest. I understand. Getting to church in one piece, on time (or almost on time!) can seem like a Herculean effort.

Yet I hear Jesus say to all of us: “Take care how you listen” (Lk. 8:18). Attending church should be more than something on our to-do list for the day. It deserves readiness of heart and mind. There is a relationship between the benefits received on Sunday morning and the way you prepared for it.

Here is list of suggestions that may be of help:

  1. Pray! Pray the evening before, pray before the service starts, pray before the message. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and to feed your soul.
  2. Do what you can to make your Sunday morning pre-church time as hassle free as possible, especially if you have little ones!
  3. Avoid social media Saturday evening and Sunday morning. They can be helpful tools but also terrible distractors.
  4. Go to bed on time Saturday evening. Nothing spiritual here, just plain old common sense. It's hard to pay attention to the message if you've been watching movies till 2 a.m.
  5. If the pastor preaches through a book of the Bible, familiarize yourself with it. Read the text a couple of times during the week.
  6. If you’re easily distracted, find a seat where distractions are reduced to a minimum.
  7. Engage fully in every part of the service. We’re supposed to participate not be entertained.
  8. Pay attention to what’s being said, not to the clock, your neighbor or your plans for that afternoon. Listening to the message requires discipline of mind, a conscious effort.
  9. Come with a heart that expects God to speak. He knows what you need and His Word will not return empty (Is. 55:11).