How to listen to a bad sermon

Here are five tips, excerpted from The Urban Pastor:

1. Do your own leg work

If you know the passage(s) of scripture beforehand, read and have God speak to you in that way.

2. Pray for the preaching

Pray for your preachers. Pray for the event at which God’s word is explained. Ask God that you and others present may benefit from a less than perfect explanation of the scriptures.

3. Fight the frustration

Don’t let the poor quality of the sermon squeeze out God’s voice in it. Fight the urge to check out and think about something else.

4. Don’t beat yourself up

If there are things that you didn’t get, or things that you didn’t follow then don’t blame yourself. There’s every possibility that the preacher could have been unclear. If possible, ask him follow-up questions to clarify what you didn’t understand.

5. Have another swing at it

Talk about the sermon with friends. Resist the temptation to talk about the preacher and how well he presented it. Talk instead about the content and what God wants us to learn from that part of His word.