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Listening to a sermon


Jesus said “let him who has ears to hear let him hear” (Matt 11;15).  He knew we all find listening hard.  I certainly do!  So here are some suggestions on how to get more out of a Sunday sermon.

1. God is speaking
Samuel as a young boy was told to pray “speak Lord for your servant is listening” (1 Sam 3:9), and we might pray something similar.  For when the preacher refers to, explains, and applies the Bible, God is speaking, just as much as the voice to Samuel, the booming voice on Sinai, or when Jesus sat and taught his disciples.  With this conviction Paul commended a church saying: “when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God” (1 Thes 2:13).  
2. Listen actively
It is possible to listen passively when perhaps you’re not that bothered about following things, remembering, or thinking it through.  And that can be more relaxing!  But active listening can mean working hard.  For example:

  • Having the passage in front of you, looking at the verses and checking - does the passage really say that?  This is a safeguard because the preacher may be wrong sometimes! 
  • Trying to work at remembering the sermon.  Some find taking notes to be useful, or perhaps listening back to the recording of the sermon later. 
  • Thinking hard yourself about application rather than expecting the preacher to have worked out exactly how the Bible will apply to your specific life. 
  • Being ready to talk about what you’ve heard and ask questions.  
3. Do something
If there is a specific command in the Bible we mustn’t walk away without doing anything at all.  If a friend asks us to do something and we ignore the request, that’s not great for our friendship.  If every time they say something, we don’t listen, our friend can say, “honestly I’m not sure we have a friendship.”  It’s the same with God as he speaks to us. 

Of course much of the Bible is God encouraging us, giving to us, but God does give warnings and commands.  A few weeks ago I preached on Deuteronomy 6:9 which speaks of putting God’s word on our doorframes.  You might wonder “Why did God say this?", or "Is this a command or a wise instruction?",   or "How does this work out for us today?".  These are all good questions to ask.  But God certainly didn’t say this so we could do nothing at all.  Our instinct should be to respond.  

What if there is a general command (e.g. “be thankful”) and the preacher gives a practical suggestion (e.g. “take a moment this afternoon to write down 10 things you are thankful for”)?  As a Pastor I try not to do these sort of things too often because they can tire us.  Now obviously the practical suggestion is not God’s binding word to us.  You could say “I’m going to work at my thankfulness some other way.”  But often we’d benefit from listening and doing what’s suggested.  It’ll keep us responsive, help us act together as a church rather than be individualistic, and help us sit under the Elders' lead.

Take something away. 
Sometimes a sermon can be confusing, boring, or just bad!  I’m sorry when that happens.  But in my experience there is always something we can take away.  Perhaps it’s just one great Bible verse you can try to remember.  Or one sentence that stuck out and you think “I needed that.”  If you’re actively listening you’ll find something and be glad you were there.  



Barnaby, 08/03/2023
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have this page for you to get to know us.
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Come and join us...

Barnaby 4 Hello, my name is Barnaby, and I am the Pastor here at Lancing Tab. The aim of this website is just to give you a flavour of who we are and what we're about as a church.


We’re a church for the whole community in and around Lancing. Come as you are whatever doubts and questions you have.

icon3 As a church family, we all face different challenges, but we believe the Bible’s message about Jesus’ love and rescue are what we most need.
icon2 We meet at our building on North Road (next to the Co-op) at 10.30am each Sunday. It’s free and informal with tea, coffee, and kids’ groups.

Sat Nav Postcode BN15 9BB

Our address is:
105 North Road
West Sussex
BN15 9BB

There is limited street parking around the Tab. A public car park in North Farm Road is a two-minute walk. The charges for the cark park are £1 on Sundays.

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop for anyone who needs it. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There are disabled toilets available.





Our 10:30am service is simple and informal and normally runs for just over an hour. People wear anything from T-shirts to suits. You are welcome to bring kids of any age. 
We do the following:
  • Share news – because we’re a family.
  • Sing – because we love God.
  • Confess sin – because we don’t want to pretend, we’re anything but people in need of grace.
  • Look at the Bible – because that’s how we listen to God.
  • Pray – to ask God for his help.
  • We might have a baptism or take the Lord’s supper - to celebrate Jesus’ rescue.
  • We have coffee afterwards - to take real time together.

What about my kids?


We love having the noise of lively children – so don’t worry!   They stay for the first 15 minutes of the service and then head to some excellent groups.  (Link to Itab) Creche (0-3), 4-10s group, and 11-15s group.   Older teens stay in the service.

Children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service for the welcome, songs and notices. We really value worshipping God all together as a family. At the end of the notices someone will announce that it’s time for the younger members to go to their various groups. 

The kids group activities vary depending on the age but usually there is a friendly welcome, bible stories, testimonies, praying, music, craft, drama, fun games, and free play. Please pick your children up as soon as the service finishes.

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. 

More than a Sunday...


While Sundays are a fantastic way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our pastoral groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet during the week, some daytime, and some evenings. 

kidslogo Kid’s club (£1 per child)
Reception to year 6
Wednesday 6-7pm, term time
Lots of fun. Bible stories. Hide and seek. Sports. Tuck shop!
Toddler Group Toddler group (£1 entry)
Wednesday 10-11.15am, term time.
Toys, craft, and songs. A chance for parents to meet and chat and have a cup of coffee.
Youth Youth group (£1 entry)
School years 7-11
Wednesday 7.30pm, term time.
Lots of fun. Opportunities to ask questions about the Christian faith. Games, trips to the beach, camping and much more!
senior Older people’s group
Tuesday fortnightly, 10.30am.
Hymns, prayer, Bible talk, coffee, and biscuits. A great place for friendship - all welcome.
coffee Cafe in the church
1st and 3rd Saturdays, 10am-12.
Free coffee and cake. Kids toys. A friendly space.

Contact us with any questions...

If you have any questions or would like to know more details about the church or our activities, please complete the form below.
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