Only a few books in the currently published preaching and ecclesiology literature address the subject of listening to sermons, and none connect our listening to our worship.
This paper is a theology and practice of listening to sermons as an act of discipleship and worship. After establishing a definition of worship rooted in three biblical words remembrance, submission and service, I apply it to the task of listening to preaching and argue for five distinguishing characteristics (illustrated through the use of metaphors for the believer’s identity in Christ) of congregational worship during the sermon that serves as the outline of the book: Remembrance: 1) As a new creation, determined to hear of the glory of God in Christ. 2) As a child of God, rehearsing the Father’s good news. Submission: 3) As a heavenly citizen, committed to the King’s word. Service: 4) As a priest, equipped to use spiritual gifts to bear spiritual fruit in the church. 5) As an ambassador, resolved to be on mission to make disciples of all nations.
I want to investigate the importance of “hearing” the sermon as an act of worship. God the Father has seen fit to use preachers as a conduit through which the Spirit places Christ as center-stage before the audience’s mind. In the preaching, the Spirit stirs up worship in our hearts as we remember the greatness and goodness of God the Father in the face of Jesus Christ, which then cultivates submission to Christ as King, causing us to offer all that we are, all that we do, and all that we have as a spiritual act of worship.