“And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead.”-Acts 20:9
Am I the only one that loses concentration during long sermons? This is hard for me to admit as someone who teaches and preaches occasionally, but it is true. It may be hard to stay awake through these messages, but these sermons still deserve my attention. Sometimes we must take the necessary measures to pay attention in order to apply what is being taught to our lives.
Here are three tips to assist in the process:
1) Take Notes: It is always good practice to take notes of what the preacher/teacher is saying. This not only helps you pay attention, but it also will give you an opportunity to go back and check on what was taught. Another bonus is being able to have a paper to doodle on when you get distracted just a bit.
2) BYOB: This means bring your own bible – don’t get crazy! I think we have become dependent on technology and words being put on a screen. We sit and wait for the words to pop up and hope the person running the program is paying attention too (it is always rough when the screen is two verses behind). With today’s gadgets we can get an app that makes it easier to flow through the bible, just in case we don’t want to carry an actual book.
3) Leave the distractions in the car or out of sight: Now, this is where the challenge comes in. We may have an app on the phone, but then we have texting, phone calls, emails, games, pictures, and much more. Turn that off! Phone calls may come in, but if it is not a call that is repeated more than once, wait until after to worry about it. Texts can wait. If someone texts while you’re in church, they can wait since they didn’t call you multiple times. It is hard to do, believe me I know, but it will help with concentration. However, I do realize it is hard to think we might miss that facebook update of what our friends just got done eating for breakfast.
I know this is not a perfect list. However, these steps may assist in hearing the message completely. There is a difference between hearing and listening. I can hear you say something, but not understand it. On the other hand, if I listen to you, then I can follow up with a proper response. Perhaps God is waiting for His people to do just that; hear his message and properly respond? Just a thought.
P.S. Eutychus lived…look it up!