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Why on earth does anyone need a guide on how to listen to sermons? Don’t we simply need to ‘be there’ and stay awake? Yet Jesus said: ‘Consider carefully how you listen.’ The fact is, much more is involved in truly listening to Bible teaching than just sitting and staring at the preacher. Christopher Ash outlines seven ingredients for healthy listening. He then deals with how to respond to bad sermons – ones that are dull, or inadequate, or heretical. And finally, he challenges us with ideas for helping and encouraging our Bible teachers to give sermons that will really help us to grow as Christians. Where does the authority of a Bible teacher come from? Why is Bible teaching offensive? Why is it important to hear Bible teaching in church? How can we actually enjoy Bible teaching more? These (and more) are the questions answered by this practical guide, which includes effective, hands–on suggestions for implementing each idea. All with the aim of helping us learn how to listen properly, so that through His word, God will make us more and more Christ like.
‘We give Listen Up to all our new members’ – Mark Dever, Sr. Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church
Listening to a sermon is not simply turning up to church, staring at the preacher, then going home. Listening to a sermon is much more than that as Christopher AshÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s little book Ã¢â‚¬ËœListen Up!Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ explains.
Listen Up! is a practical guide to listening to sermons which by its price (Ã‚Â£1.50), length (31 pages), presentation (colourful), and style (very easy to read) is accessible to all, from the youth group to the old peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work.
The majority of book looks at what Ash has called seven ingredients for healthy sermon listening (basically seven steps to listening to a sermon). Each of the seven ingredients begins with an example of a person doing and not doing this step, an explanation of what it means and then some practical steps to take in order to do it.
Ash then goes on to consider how to listen to bad sermons whether they be dull, biblically inadequate, or heretical before finishing with seven suggestions for encouraging good preaching.
Throughout the book Ash reminds us that the reason we need to listen properly is so that through His Word, God will make us more and more like Christ. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s surely a reason to want to find out how to do this. Or as Ash writes in the introduction that 'the way we listen [to sermons] is a life or death business...it can damage your health or take you closer to final rescue.'
This is a book for everyone in the congregation to read. Why not make it the church's book of month/term? I think it would also be good to work through with young people especially those who say they are struggling with listening to the sermon.
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