Well, it makes sense to talk some more about preaching. A few weeks ago we went through YOUR response to preaching. Like, some REALLY practical things you can do when it’s preaching time at our church (in here and in the main services).
Here’s what we talked about:
Bring your Bible. How about starting there? Bring your Bible to church. And use it! You will never get anything from the preaching if you do not bring your Bible, so make it a point to contribute to the preaching by having your Bible. It’s not funny when you forget it, so stop laughing it off and get a little more serious about God’s Word.
Say “Amen.” You can contribute to being timeless by saying “Amen” in church. It’s a Bible principle to agree and affirm the preaching. The first time you do it you’ll feel weird. Keep it up! You will encourage everyone around you.
Stay Awake. Hopefully it goes without saying…you are a discourager—not an encourager—when you are falling asleep during the preaching. Are you passionate about preaching? Then don’t stay up late playing your dumb video games on Saturday night!
I used to work nights and know the horrible feeling of wanting so badly not to be drowsy. I mean, good night…Bro. Sam Davison was my pastor! He’s a master preacher! I hung on every word he said and would never want to miss a service because of his preaching! Yet even during his preaching I would get drowsy, but I would always fight it like crazy.
If it’s something you can help, do it. Go to bed earlier. Learn to drink coffee (takes a solid month to learn to like it black!) and use it as a tool to contribute to being timeless in the area of preaching. Pinch your leg. Bite your tongue. Take notes. Eat breakfast that morning. Do whatever it takes, but stay awake.
Stay Engaged. Being awake and being engaged are different. Your
eyes can be open but your mind might be closed. Keep your mind on
what is being said. Follow the preacher’s thoughts. Keep up when he says, “Turn to…” Don’t “snap out of it” when you hear everyone laughing at a joke you just missed. Don’t let your eyes glaze over. Listen! Be engaged!
Sit up. Posture says a lot. When you are at church, do you slouch in your seat? If so, sit up. Guys, don’t lean forward with your head down and stare at the floor. Sit up! Backs on the seat and eyes up. Contribute! Don’t discourage.
Don’t talk. Many youth ministries have a certain section of the
church where the teens sit during the preaching. Don’t do anything to
distract others. Most importantly, don’t talk. I love seeing you ignore your neighbor when he or she leans over to talk to you during the preaching. That’s good. That’s the only time you can be rude to your neighbor—when he or she is being rude to the preacher. Just straight up ignore him or her! Eyes forward, Bible open, straight face. Don’t laugh, don’t respond, and don’t even flinch. Better yet, shout, “AMEN!” even if nothing amazing was just said. That’ll scare them off!
Pre-read texts. If you are in a series and you know what text is
coming up, read the text ahead of time. You will have questions come
up in your mind and you will wonder what the preacher will say about
this or that verse. You will have a grasp of where the preacher is
coming from in the Scripture, and you will already be in the biblical
author’s flow of thought. You will understand the context better than
anyone else, and you will be more excited about the preaching because
you have invested in the service.
Change. Probably the most encouraging way to contribute to the timelessness of preaching is to make sure preaching works. How can YOU make sure preaching works? By changing. Every week, something is preached from God’s Word. If “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,” then that means everytime you are confronted with the Bible there is something there for you. Apply it. Change. Let it work in you. Preaching is supernatural, but it won’t override your will. You have to do your part to respond to the preaching. Let it change you.