By Paul Koch

I have occasionally been asked about my preaching style. That is, every now and then someone will wonder why I preach the way I do. How do I choose what to focus on from a given text? Why don’t I use notes when I preach? Why won’t I just stay put in the pulpit like a good preacher? And to tell the truth, the short answer to such questions is that I am personally a terrible sermon listener. When I try to put myself in your shoes, when I actually sit in the pew and listen to a sermon, I get all fidgety, and it’s hard to keep focus and stay on track. My wife would most likely tell you it is easier to sit with all five of our children by herself than it is to be next to me. So, I have tried to make it a habit of wondering what it is like to be where you are, to be the listener rather than the speaker. I wonder what sort of questions you might be asking yourself, what sort of thoughts are going through your mind when you come to church. In fact, I wonder if you ever question what this is all about. When you get right down to it, what is church about?

By Cindy Koch

She spoke in a hushed voice so the other ladies at the table couldn’t quite hear. “Well, he really hates going to church on Sundays. He just wants to sleep in. I guess that’s just the way it goes.” She fake smiled and gave a cute little shrug, but her eyes stared desperately at me for a solution. Three other gals at the table were engrossed in another conversation, so I asked her to continue.