4 Ways to Get the Most From a Sermon


If you are like me there are times you struggle to get much out of your pastors sermon. It doesn’t mean it was a bad sermon, actually it could be one of the best he’s ever done. YOU just weren’t prepared for it. Thats right I am blaming you. Your mind wondered wondering what is your next meal going to look like, or who is going to win the game today, or a whole host of other things. Hell your mind was on anything except what the pastor was saying. I am not saying there aren’t some boring preachers out there. Believe me there are (I pray I am not one of them).

Even if your pastor isn’t the most charismatic or enthusiastic, you can still get more from those sermons than you have been. Below I list four steps to get the most out of a sermon:

1) Ask What Text is Being Used
After you ask what text is being used read it over, and meditate on it. Pick out what you can from the text and then see if any questions come to mind. If they do write them down and listen to see if your pastor answers them in his sermon.

2) Pray For Your Pastor
To some this may seem out of place, but it is important to pray for those who are in leadership positions over us. As you pray for him and his sermon you will have a vested interest in how it goes and the way it impacts yourself and others. By praying for your pastor you are showing him respect and showing obedience to God.

3) Take Good Notes
This kind of goes along with point number 1, but is a little bit different. I want you to take stellar notes like you are going to be tested on this material at later date. And if you can use a pen and paper. There are studies which prove using the old school method is better for your retention than taking notes on an electronic device. Make sure you list all of the points mentioned, and then pick out any good quotes you hear during the sermon. IF you are on social media you can use those quotes to up lift someone else.

4) Pray For Yourself
Again, we don’t think about doing this before a church service but it is vital to have a clean heart and an open mind. If you haven’t prayed for yourself, you maybe setting yourself up for failure from the get go. Ask the Lord to forgive you of any specific sins you can think of, and then ask him to give you an attentive heart and mind to what the pastor is speaking about.

You will be surprised how much more you get out of a sermon by implementing these four simple steps. I am not going to be a hypocrite and say I do all of these every week. If I did I would be lying to you. At the very least I try and do #3 each week.

Question: What do you think I missed in this list to make sure you get the most out of a sermon each week?


  1. Alexi George (@AlexiGeorge)

    You’ve done well. I would add just one point. ***Remember to pull out the one thing, the true “message” for you from the sermon. I’ve just posted something on sermons, but from the view of a preacher. Please take a look. http://www.barnabas.in/shallow-lifeless-pop-style-self-help-and-self-centered-preaching/

    1. pmhorne (Post author)

      Alexi, Thank you. You make a very good point, one I had not thought of. If I ever decide to revise this post I just may add that in. When I get a moment or so I will try and check out your post. Thanks again. God Bless, Paul


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