Lately I've been really enjoying listening to podcasts from Lancaster Baptist Church. I usually listen to a sermon on Saturday while I'm cleaning my house. Cleaning is not exactly my favourite thing to do, so It definitely makes the time go by much more quickly :). It's kind of funny to me that listening to a sermon actually makes me enjoy my cleaning more. There was a time when I would have NEVER listened to a sermon out side of church....
When I was in Bible college I remember a lot of the guys listening to sermons ALL the time. They would download Clarence Sexton, R.B. Ouellette, and other preachers. I used to think they were so weird. Why on earth would you want to listen to MORE preaching when you were in Bible college? We were already in preaching services a minimum of FIVE times a week. During special conferences that could easily double to ten sermons a week! That's A LOT of preaching. Not to mention most of our classes were Bible related. And then there were those six semesters of Systematic Theology! Even the classes that weren't specifically Bible (ie. music, education, English) were still taught from a Christian perspective, and usually had some reference to God or the Bible in them. I really did not get this infatuation with downloading and listening to sermons. How much Bible can one person take!!?
I guess I wasn't as spiritual as some of the others :). Don't get me wrong I really like preaching. I loved every Sunday service, every chapel, and I always looked forward to Bible conference. I soaked up every sermon, every class, and made sure to do my personal devotions every day (I really did try not to fall asleep...). It's just I couldn't understand how someone could listen to sermons during their leisure time. Wasn't that supposed to be for chatting with friends, or reading a book, or playing a game, or something non-Bible related? Then after they (the afore mentioned "guys") listened to a sermon they would TALK about it. They'd go on and on about how great a preacher a particular man was, or how much they had learned from listening to them preach etc. It was like 24-7 Bible preaching: eat, sleep, talk.... preaching! Preaching, preaching, preaching... I think you get my point :).
My perspective has changed a bit since Bible College. I really do enjoy preaching, and one of the things I enjoy the most about it is watching the preacher. I like to watch their facial expression, their gestures, and (sometimes on rare occasions) their crazy antics :). Seeing how passionate and dedicated they are to their message really inspires me and touches my heart. I think that's partially why listening to a recorded sermon never appealed to me. I couldn't connect with the preacher the same way as when I was watching him. My sermon listening is quite a recent phenomenon. It started this past April after the teens in our church went to a youth conference. My Mom took them, and she ended up buying all the CD's of the sermons that were preached. She was really excited about them when she got back and told me I HAD to listen to them. Being the very obedient daughter that I am, I did :). The crazy thing is that I actually enjoyed listening to them! Never in a million years did I think I would ever enjoy listening to a sermon, but these were good!!!
Since then I've been hooked. The internet is great for listening to sermons. There are literally hundreds of thousands of sermons at my finger tips. The hard part now is choosing what to listen to! I'm sure many churches that have webpages and upload sermons have no idea how much of an impact they are having. I have been greatly encouraged, and I have learned a lot by listening to other preachers. Of course, I'm pretty selective about what I listen to. Along with the good things on the internet, there's a lot of garbage too. I am thankful for good, Bible-believing churches that have websites and make their resources available to others. I have been blessed and helped by them.
So, guess who the one is talking about the sermons she listens to now? I wonder if my Mom is getting tired of hearing me say every Sunday "I listened to a really good sermon yesterday. It was about..." LOL!