On listening to sermons: More suggestions

Listening to sermons on Sunday morning often requires wrestling with my sinful flesh to focus on what the pastor is preaching. It’s not easy; it takes work.

In the February issue of The Lutheran Witness, I offered some suggestions for preparing for Sunday morning. At the end of “On Listening to Sermons,” I asked our readers to send their sermon-listening suggestions.

And send suggestions they did! I culled the list and selected the best.


Judy from Houston writes about adjusting her attitude:

I read your informative article “On Listening to Sermons.” It reminded me of a time quite a few years ago when I was attending an LWML zone meeting. The speaker was a pastor I had heard before, and he was so hard to listen to, so boring because he spoke in a monotone. I was not looking forward to that program. Well, I decided I needed some attitude adjustment, so I prayed that I would get something out of his program. I did! Focusing on his message, not his tone of voice, made all the difference. I can’t remember now what I took away from the message, but I did learn that MY attitude and preparation was so important.


John from Sacramento writes about hearing devices:

I like the sound of infants crying in church. I became a grandparent not so long ago, and maybe I’ve just gotten used to the sound all over again. Then again, it may be that most everything I hear is not as loud anymore. Before my hearing loss became apparent to me, I thought I was quite sensitive to those with the disability. But I’ve realized we can do better to help those who cannot hear well. Is your church prepared with enough hearing assist devices, or just one or two? And do the people know where they’re located and that they’re available? Does anyone faithfully check the batteries?


Eric from Pittsburgh offers additional suggestions:

  • Put away and turn off all digital devices during the service.
  • Pray for the pastor specifically, that is, by name.
  • Ask your pastor for help in finding the lectionary and readings for every Sunday.


If you are interested in reading the original article, purchase the February issue from Concordia Publishing House. Even better, subscribe to The Lutheran Witness.

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