Don’t Forget the “So What”

Bible on a Pulpit

Every Sunday 1000’s of sermons are preached and heard, and just as many Sunday School lessons and Bible Studies are prepared for and taught. Even though sermons are preached, lessons and studies are taught, many do not address the “so what” of the text. In other words, they do not tell the people how to apply the text to their life.

On Friday’s a few men at our church gather at iHop to discuss Scripture. It is a great time of Christian fellowship and an opportunity to learn from one another. Last Friday, one of the guys reminded me of the importance of the “so what.” He said:

I enjoy hearing the history, and the Greek or Hebrew behind the text. These things are necessary to understand and learn, but one thing I want to know before the sermon, Bible study, or Sunday School lesson is over is why does this text matter to my life?

In other words, he was calling preachers and teachers to provide the “so what” of the text. I agree with him. It is important and necessary that we tell our people why the text matters to their life, how it applies to their situation, and how they might implement its teaching. If we don’t, we are not fully expounding the text and we are short-changing our people.

Challenge

So this week as you prepare your Sunday School lesson, Bible study, or Sermon, make sure to provide the “so what.” Tell the people why the text matters to their life, and help them apply it.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do you make the “so what” explicit?
  2. Do you help your people apply the text to their life?

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Are You a Berean?

Berean Congregation

Week in and week out church members listen to sermons, sit in on Bible studies, and attend Sunday School. They receive teaching, but what do they do with that teaching afterward? I am afraid most members do nothing more than casually mention to their family over lunch that the sermon was good this week.

Scripture tells us that is an inadequate response. It calls us to do more than listen to the sermon on Sunday, even though that is a good start. What else should we do? Let’s look to the book of Acts and see what our friends the Berean’s did.

The Bereans as Our Example

After leaving Thessalonica, Paul and Silas came to Berea. Luke tells us after arriving Paul and Silas…

… went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:10-11).

The Bereans model for us what we should do on Sunday morning. What is that?

Here are the three things they did that we should be doing:  

(1) They Eagerly Received God’s Word – They came to the synagogue hungry for the preached Word. Preaching wasn’t the part of the service they endured. It was a part of the service they eagerly anticipated.

(2) They Listened Attentively – Not only did they desire to hear God’s Word taught, but they listened attentively. Limited edition Berean Moleskine’s sat in every listener’s lap being filled with notes from the sermon. Daydreaming, counting the pews for the 100th time, or catching up on their beauty sleep was far from their mind. They listened to the exposition of God’s Word attentively.

(3) They Examined the Teaching they Heard – Not only did the Bereans receive the Word with all eagerness, listening attentively, but they went home, opened their Bibles, and examined Paul and Silas’ teaching. Was it accurate? Did it coincide with the rest of Scripture? Was it applied rightly? These are the questions they probably asked and more.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do you hunger to hear God’s Word proclaimed?
  2. Do you listen attentively during the preaching of God’s Word?
  3. When was the last time you went home and examined the sermons content for accuracy?
  4. Are you a Berean?

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