One of the most wasted resources in the church is the Sunday Morning Sermon. (Did I just hear a class break?) While some of my friends might be gasping for breath, hear me out:
A good pastor wrestles with what to preach
He must meet the needs of the church, but in doing so making sure it’s God’s timing, true to the Bible and clearly communicated whether popular or not. The time invested in this is massive, days, not hours. Sometimes even weeks. Praying, reading, researching, etc all goes into this.
He digs into the text and then has to deal with his own depravity and fallenness at the same time. This is extremely hard when the sermon is about something the pastor is just starting to work through. While preparing people come to mind that the passage will address. The point isn’t to preach at those people, but feed the whole church. In speaking truth to actions, one must let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit.
Then Monday hits
Being a young idealist, I disagreed with an elder pastor that said to me: “You’ll preach a sermon on Sunday and then on Monday someone will be in your office needing counseling on what you just preached on…and they weren’t there, or weren’t listening.” My first Sunday Morning Sermon (on John 4) I got the usual “nice sermon” pat. On Monday, I get the call… Sure enough, The elder pastor was right. And as years past by, he’s proven right more and more. At times, I’m the Monday guy.
So on Monday…
We need to learn to listen to our pastors. It’s really not about the them. It is about what God wants us to hear. Sometimes the pastor’s sermon is what the pastor needs to hear as much as those in the audience. None of us are perfect, but we can all do a better job listening. If the Sunday Morning Sermon ends with a “Nice job, Pastor,” then we are wasting a valuable resource God gave us. On Monday, chew on the message. Wrestle with it. Some sermons will be more profound than others, but we must not leave the sermon to just Sunday. (Some sermons we may wrestle with for a lifetime.)
It’s not about the pastor. It’s about us and God. We can all do a better job of listening and pondering what He is trying to get across.
(especial on Monday)
2 thoughts on “Manic Monday: Wasted”
From a pastor’s viewpoint, I have learned that while they may not have listened, I am at least prepared to personally deliver the message of that text when they are there in my office, across the desk from me. I have found over the years that it is generally not one sermon that makes a difference in people’s lives, but rather the accumulated weight of faithful expository preaching over an extended time.
I also console myself with remembering how many times I have to hear something before I really learn it.
But the point of your post is well taken. When I am the listener, I need to listen actively, then meditate and seek to apply the truths of the gospel that I just heard. Thank you for this reminder.
Ever been in the middle of the sermon and had a profound sense God was point something out to you, even after all the wrestling and prep work?