More than just listening

Listening to a sermon Brian McLaren did on February 27, 2005 called “Making More of Public Worship–Teaching: More than Listening”. (Click on the sermon title for a link for the RealAudio file.)

It’s one of a series they did on what public worship is for. Here are just two tidbits (in my words):

1. So what that you don’t remember what was preached the day before. Can you remember what you ate on April 3, 2003? You probably can’t remember it, but it still played an important part in nourishing you and bringing you to this point.

2. Don’t become a sermon connoisseur. We all kind of rank a talk or teaching as it goes along. “So far a 5 out of 10. Oh! Good point, now it’s a 6.” Don’t do that. McLaren says his sermons are really conducive to being copied down as notes. It would be far better to jot down ideas that come to you. “Oh, I should call Joe. It’s been a while since we connected.” The point isn’t being able to regurgitate what you hear. The point is to be empowered to live a Spirit-filled life for the 166 hours you’re not at church.

3. Think of the sermon you remember the most since the last 5 years. It’s probably the one you disagreed with the most. In our world of increasingly being able to listen to only what we want to hear–books, tv, ipods, everything we choose–hearing something you completely disagree with could be an incredibly important part of your spiritual formation.

The entire sermon series, and lots of other sermons, are available at

Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman helps leaders lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. The author of "Ask Without Fear!®," he is the founder of The Concord Leadership Group and He's also the executive director of and an Advisory Panel member of Rogare, a prestigious international fundraising think tank. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook. To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to

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