Vol.IX No.I Pg.8
March 1972

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

If all the people who sleep in church were laid end to end — they would be much more comfortable.

A speaker can dismiss those who stretch out as he mounts the stand. They slide down on their sacroiliac, brace themselves with a song book, and bid the world farewell. For the life of me, I cant figure out why they bother to dress and come. When they snore I wish they wouldnt.

But there is another class of sleepers for whom I have great com­passion. The hard-working, out-door folk, weary of body, giving in to the comfortable seat and warm room. For them I suggest a compassionate solution: cut down on the hard work and get plenty of rest on Saturday. Athletes rest up for the big game, and old folk rest up before the grand­children come. If Bible study and the worship meant as much to us as they should, we would make a conscious effort to prepare for them.

At this point it is only fair to state that the speaker has an obligation too. He must prepare something worth hearing, and present it with enthusiasm. If the preacher puts them to sleep, let him awaken them.

And we have a special sympathy for those honest folk who have never learned how to listen. They want to stay awake — their cold fishy stare is as embarrassing to them as it is irritating to the speaker — but what can they do? Well first, quit trying to stay awake, and start doing some thing with what you are hearing One must make a positive approach.

What is the subject? What is the apparent aim of the lesson — to what does it lead? Evaluate the logic of the speaker, making mental notes of points you feel need more or less emphasis. (Written notes are not out of order — listing scriptures, and some comments that you feel are special.)

Allow mental pictures to form. You are there, with Paul in Athens, with Mary at the cross, with the early church and their problems. This will! assist one in making self-application of each truth — how does it affect me now? Do I react today to similar situations, as Christians reacted then?

Check the scriptures in your text and rephrase the argument in your own words. Listen! And soon you will discover that the preacher doesnt seem to preach as long as he once did.