Two years ago this month, my book was released. It is a book that I wrote trying to help people think through not only the necessity of listening to preaching, but also how to become better at it. Here is a portion of the introduction::
"Over the past several years, there has been a wealth of material calling pastors back to their God-given responsibility to preach his word without shame or embarrassment. Yet, there is relatively little information addressed to the people in the church as they sit under the weekly preaching of the word of God. How are they to listen to the preaching of God's word? What are they to do when the Bible is preached to them the way God intended preaching to take place? How are people to respond to biblical preaching?
I will never forget the first time I considered this problem. I was sitting at a national conference for pastors, looking out at over 3,000 men who were receiving instructions on going back to their churches and preaching more boldly, accurately, and passionately. I sat there thinking that their people have no idea of what is about to hit them next week. Their people have no concept of what it means to respond to the preaching they are soon to receive. Their people need to understand what it means to listen to preaching from God's word. At that moment, I felt a burden for the people who sit in the pews every week."
The book is divided into five chapters:
1. The Preaching Intersection - In this chapter I deal with a theology of preaching and preachers and how that intersects with a theology of listening and listeners.
2. Receive the Preaching of God's Word - Preparing for the message is extremely important. I try to articulate what it means to prepare for church, physically and spiritually.
3. Examine the Preaching of God's Word - It is very important to take the word of God as it is preached and discern it. Is there any chance that your preacher is wrong? Compare it to the Scriptures yourself. Everyone should learn how to be discerning when they listen to preaching.
4. Live the Preaching of God's Word - This is probably the most important part of the book. I try to make the argument that biblical listening only happens when it changes the way you live. Have you applied it to your life?
5. Persevere the Preaching of God's Word - There are many obstacles that will keep a person from listening as they should. I try to give some words of advice on how to overcome things like technology, traditions, and comparing your pastor with your podcast preacher.
It is two years later and I still believe in the content of this book. When I wrote this book I was primarily a listener. Most of my weeks were spent in the seat listening to the main preaching event in our church. But now I have transitioned into the main preaching role. And I think this issue is as big as ever. There are many weeks as people leave church, I fear that they are more like the foolish builder than the wise builder (Matt. 7:24-27). Or they are more like the forgetful hearer than the effectual doer (James 1:22-25).
Will you help me? Would you spread the word about my book? If you have read it, would you be willing to post a review on Amazon or ChristianBook.com? Will you tell others that they need to read it? Not because it helps me (trust me, I don't really make anything off of this), but because they need this word in their life.