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A Healthy Church Member is an Expositional Listener – Part Four

Deacons, this is the last note concerning Expositional Listening. Here I want to remind you about some ways to cultivate the habit and skills of an Expositional Listener. As with any discipline, one must take steps to become proficient at being an Expositional Listener in order to reap the benefits.

One step is to meditate on next week’s sermon text. Find out from what text the Pastor will be preaching and study that passage yourself throughout the week while taking notes. As you do this, you will gain insights and form ideas about the message of the text on which you can build while listening to the sermon. You will be amazed at how God blesses you as you listen because of how prepared your heart is to hear.

Another step is to make the sermon the topic of your conversations with your friends after the service. As you eat lunch together, share your thoughts with each other about the message of the text, how you think it applies to your life and that of the body. Remember, the point is not to critique the preacher, criticize his delivery or argue with him about his theology. The point is to discover the message of the text and be blessed by it as an individual and as a body. Encourage each other during this time with the truth of God’s Word.

A third step is to pray for our congregation that we would not become dull in our hearing but that we would understand with our heart, return to God for healing and grow in our hunger for the Word of God. Make Isaiah 6:9-10 a guide for your prayers.

The final step I want to highlight is that we should be doers of the Word not just hearers. An Expositional Listener doesn’t just listen. He hears and acts accordingly. In order to be a Expositional listener you must listen intently to the Word of God and abide by it. (See James 1:22-25)

I hope these things help you grow in your faith and help our congregation grow in unity and love for one another.

Blessings, Mark

Anyabwile, Thabiti M. What is a Healthy Church Member?. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2008.