With Ears to Hear
What am I listening for in the sermon?
What should I expect to hear?
Why does the sermon matter?
If you find yourself asking these questions,
you're in the right spot.
The goal of WithEarsToHear.org is to help orient the ear
to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Strategies for Listening
You are Invited...
... to focus on the content of the sermon.
When listening to sermons we, the listeners, often are more concerned with "the how" (delivery, style, notes or no notes, pulpit or no pulpit) than "the what" (the Gospel of Jesus Christ). The presentation of the sermon - "the how" - is important. It is not, however, more important than the Gospel content.
... to listen for what matters.
We, the listeners, spend a good deal of time listening to sermons often without much preparation for thinking about what we're hoping to and need to hear. Comedian George Burns (1896-1996) is reported to have quipped, "The secret to a good sermon is to have a good beginning and good ending, then having the two as close together as possible." I imagine that many who listen to sermons, Christian or Jewish (Burns was Jewish.), can relate to this joke. The challenge for preachers as well as listeners is to make the stuff in between matter - to make it meaning-full. With Christian preaching, meaning-full means that the sermon centers on and crescendos to God's activity in Jesus Christ.
... to expect that Jesus Christ is present to you and to the world.
There are many different opinions about what preaching is about. A challenge into which withearstohear.org invites you is listening for the biblical and gospel heart of the Christian sermon. The strategies and information on this website are meant to sharpen listening toward faith in the Triune God who by the power of the Holy Spirit reveals God's self most clearly in Jesus Christ crucified.
Orienting the Ear to the Gospel
Let anyone with ears to hear, listen! (Mark 4:9 NRSV)
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