The ride home from church is often full of discussions of what or where to eat, what’s going on in fellow member’s lives, and thoughts on how to spend the rest of the day. Those are well and good but they don’t take long. I want to suggest there is something else we should be doing. There’s something we can do to help our walk with Christ in light of having heard his word preached.
The sermon review.
What better time to review the sermon with your spouse and kids than on the ride home? Our memory of what was sung, prayed, and preached than right after we hear it. Some of you might be thinking, “Why do we want to do that when we just heard it? We already listened, we got it, we’re good!”
The high point of worship is the word of God preached. We are there to hear a man preach the word and not his clever thoughts, smooth speech, or laugh at his jokes. He labors all week over the text in study, striving to faithfully deliver the meaning of it and offer application to our lives. Yet, this is not about the preacher, this is about the word of God. I am suggesting we dwell on sermons for a bit so that we don’t forget them and that we learn to obey God.
We hear a great many things throughout the day but what real impact do they have? That depends on how we think about them. New information comes so rapid fire that we don’t consider what we heard five minutes ago as something new is pushing for our attention. This is not really any different with Sunday worship and the sermon. Once we leave church will we consider what we heard again? We have a car ride or a walk home, if you’re blessed to live close to church, and in that time let’s think about what we heard. I have four reasons I think we ought to talk about the sermon we heard.
- Talking about the sermon with our families will make us better listeners.
Asking each other what the main point of the sermon was is an encouragement to listen well. Our minds are prone to wander on tidbits of information or things that spark our imagination. Having a goal when we come to hear the word preached helps guard against that. The goal is not merely to grasp the point, though. The goal is in grasping the truth preached that we would worship God.
- Talking about the sermon with our families will make us better thinkers.
When we know that we’re going to discuss what we heard we move from passive to active listening. Rather than passively absorbing the sermon, we’re actively listening, questioning, and mentally interacting with what we hear. We have to determine the main point and the supporting points so that we can discuss it. If we’re asked what the point was and the only thing we can come up with is something we thought was funny then we’re not listening well.
- Talking about the sermon with our families will help us to obey.
Given that we’re now actively listening, the application of the sermon will make sense and be based on the biblical truths expounded. Rather than having a list of things to do divorced of the reason why, we heard the reasons why that inform the application. This grounds our obedience to those applications in the word of God.
- Talking about the sermon with our families will help us lead our families.
Men, this is a practical and essential way to lead our families well. Talk with your wife about what you both heard and how to apply it to your life as a family. Help your kids learn to listen to sermons better by including them in the conversation. In so doing we’re declaring that a sermon is more than just a speech. We listen to the truth of God’s word to dwell on God and be transformed by Him.
Listen, dwell, discuss.