Ask A Pastor: Practical Ideas for Sermon Discussion?
Usually, right after a sermon at church, I talk to my good friends and other people, but I do not really talk about the sermon. I find that I have a hard time with that. How can I talk more about the sermon, even if it would be brief?
Good question! We should speak of spiritual things and discussing the sermon is a great opportunity to begin a spiritual conversation. It can be beneficial for ourselves, our friends and it pleases God. Consider just a few passages of Scripture regarding our conversations and speech:
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6–7).
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another” (Mal. 3:16).
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45).
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
Tips for Sermon Discussion:
Do not rush it. Personally, I find after most services it takes time to digest a sermon before I can talk about it. Often it is not until after some time of quiet reflection on the way home that I can begin to comment, discuss, and share easier.
Do not force it. Do not come out of church and try to force yourself to make some comments on the sermon just for the sake of saying something spiritual. Those are the kind of statements that often do not go anywhere. Besides, doing so breaks trust and lack of sincerity hinders conversation. Never speak for the sake of simply making yourself look good.
Fill your minds with spiritual thoughts all week. Take notice of God’s hand in your life, in His providences, in the lives of those around you and in the world. If we take mental note of God’s hand all around us, our conversations are more likely to be spiritual and filled with his praises.
Take notes of the sermon’s key thoughts. Maybe have one or two thoughts in mind which you want to share after the service. You can start with, “I enjoyed that sermon. The thought that___________ is humbling/encouraging/incredible…What did you think? What stood out to you?”
Perhaps the best way to come to spiritual conversation is to begin with a common, “How was your week?” Some might think that any talk of work or the day-to-day is unspiritual and off limits after the sermon. However, as Christians, we care about the whole person in every aspect of our friends’ lives. Frequently, as we share our everyday stories, aspects of the sermon will begin to naturally apply and come up in our conversation. Opportunity arises to offer scriptural encouragement, or to praise God for His goodness. Alternatively, you could ask your friend, “What have you been reading for devotions this week?” Be prepared to share what you have been reading and meditating on.
Keep in mind that progress is the goal. Do not get discouraged just because the last conversations did not go well or felt awkward. Take it to the Lord in prayer and be encouraged to strive to improve as He gives growth. Ask Him for opportunities and courage to speak of your soul’s concerns. Connecting with one another spiritually can be difficult because we engage the very core of our being. For the same reason it is often rewarding and a way to deep and lasting friendship! Discussing the sermon is a good opportunity to begin a spiritual conversation that edifies all involved and honours God!
Some years ago, I read the book The Great Gain of Godliness by Thomas Watson. A chapter titled, “The Godly Should Speak of God” is an excellent read: both convicting and helpful.