5 Reasons Why Preachers Should Listen to Audio Bibles

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In the age where apps rule, you’ll find dozens of Bible apps that offers instant access to God’s Word. With those Bible apps comes with features that are truly useful. Some offers Greek translations, multiple translations, devotionals, commentaries, videos and more. In short, there is plenty of stuff a Bible app can offer. But let us consider a special feature that may or may not be included to your favorite Bible app. If it’s not available, one simple search at Google and you’ll find online audio Bibles you can listen online for free. But you might ask, why should I try listening to the audio version of the Scriptures?

Listening is indispensable as reading and when we appropriately add it in our sermon preparations, it can enhance the skill that we already have. Given the benefits of it (as you will read some below),  rarely we associate the Bible with listening other that hearing it in a sermon or Bible study. So I suggest that you try and make it a habit.

I also provide at the end of this article audio Bibles you might want to check out.

Because preachers should be good listeners too. Aside from being a good reader, preachers should be good listeners also. Audiobooks, sermons, podcast and Christian music are great influence as much as reading. If you’re not into those, better consider trying those out. If your tired of reading its time to plug in the headphones. And while your exploring those resources, you shouldn’t miss a vast number of audio Bibles on the Internet for free.

It’s a different experience to the Word of God.  In listening to an audio Bible you’re not in control (sort of). The speed, accent, tone and emphasis of the reader are not in your hands, that you might consider adjusting. It’s like listening to a sermon but it’s all Scriptures.  Also you can attend to other things unlike sitting down and reading the actual book.   

Preachers might miss out some details in a passage. An audio Bible can give a different angle on how to grasp those passages.While you might have read the chapter or verse of the Bible many times before, being read by someone else for you may give some details to have missed. It really pays to re-read a passage your studying. Listening to it over and over as substitute to re-reading adds a different dimension in picking up what you’re studying. After all, we do have limitations and need all the help we can get. Listening to audio Bible is a great help to us preacher.

For proper pronunciations of words. We Filipinos are good in English whether in speaking or writing. However, there are words (i.e. names and places) that are not familiar to us. Listening to an audio Bible will help us overcome those pronunciations obstacles. In return, we can help our congregation speak those words with confidence.    

To fill in the gaps of our time. Preachers has other important things to do aside from preaching and preparing sermons. Some might have secular work. Some might be  working homebound. Aside from filling with some tunes from Spotify as you do your work, you can listen to audio Bibles. And I believe as you listen to it even as a background, God can move hearts in prompting lessons that will help you be more like Christ or something to preach on Sunday. If God can use it when we are reading the Scripture, He  can do it also when we are inclining our ears to audio Bibles.

Reading is a discipline that we mostly use as preachers as we prepare messages that we will deliver on Sunday mornings. We read, of course first and foremost  Scriptures. Then we go to commentaries, study Bibles, lexicons and other resources to properly understand and handle Word of God.  However, we should not forget another facet of discipline that we can grasp learning and help us in our sermon preparations. And that is listening.

Audio Bibles online that you might like:

Talking Bibles

Bible Gateway Audio

YouVersion

 

 

Pinoy Preacher List #8

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After a couple of months hiatus, this series is back for it’s eight (and hopefully not the final) list of Filipino preachers and their sermons. If you miss out the other seven installment, they’re provided at the end of this post.

Xley Miguel – Xley leads Christ’s Heritage Church located at Libis, Quezon City. You can watch his sermons over YouTube and connect with their church by visiting its FB page.

Lance Filio – Down South of Manila is Zion Cornerstone Reformed Church at Imus Cavite. Rev. Lance Filio pastors the church. For more information about the church, head over to their FB Page. To listen to Rev. Lance’s sermons with transcript, you can access them at their church website.

Ramil Corpus – Back in Manila specifically at Old Sta. Mesa is Ramil Corpus. He pastors Sola Scriptura Christian Church. He also writes and translates articles for an apologetics website, GotQuestions. He has a weekly FB live program called, Narrow Gate which tackles doctrines and other biblical topics. Find the latest episode by check their FB page.

If you have missed out the previous installments here are the links:

Pinoy Preacher List #1

Pinoy Preacher List #2

Pinoy Preacher List #3

Pinoy Preacher List #4 

Pinoy Preacher List #5

Pinoy Preacher List #6

Pinoy Preacher List #7

Would you like to help me grow this list? If you know pastors or preachers who are Calvinistic or Reformed and has sermons online, please do e-mail me at nitoymgonzales@gmail.com.

The Storytellers

Stumbling upon a book titled “Essential Managers: Presenting” by Aileen Pincus, I instantly grab and curiously read it. “This book will be useful” I said to myself, because I get to speak quite often at church. As I thumb through the pages, I got across something that is very essential for preachers and teachers of God’s Word. The topic was using narrative. Let me share some of it here:

Six of the most powerful words in the English language are “Let me tell you a story.” Narratives bring facts and figures into context and lift presentations out of the realm of dry tutorials. They provide a showcase for the presenter to demonstrate real passion and grasp of the issues, particularly if the narrative resonates on a personal level. Crucially, they-like no other device-will captivate the listener.

 

It amazed me that in corporate world, they employ this kind method to get their message across. And according to the book it will ‘captivate the listener’. But note we use narratives not to sell a product or present business charts but to present God’s enduring story. We use narratives in our Bible study or sermon to grab and penetrate its truth to the hearts believers. Nothing but a good story will get their attention and drive God’s lessons to us.

The book goes on to say:

Learn to use stories effectively, by reading and listening to accomplished storytellers.

 

As for Christians, there is one “accomplished storyteller” that we should learn how to use narrative effectively. And that’s Jesus Christ, the Master Storyteller. He successfully used stories (or parables) to make an important life lesson for every listener (Matthew 13:34-35). He draws illustrations from everyday activities (sowing, building, shepherding etc.,) people (laborers, rich man, Pharisees, publican, virgins etc.,) nature (vine, branches, fig-tree, cloud etc.,) and common objects (like coins, wine bottle, candles etc.) to make his stories hit the heart. And who can forget the parable of the Prodigal Son and Good Samaritan that really captured our emotions. Read His parables and see how He shared it to the people. Take time to note who are His listeners and their reactions. Look at Him for inspiration on your storytelling.

Last year, our YP/YS Fellowship had a series on Children Ministry. We want to learn to tell biblical stories and have heart for children for the gospel. We used this video to instruct our young people on how to effectively teach children about God. I discovered this from Tony Kummer’s kids’ ministry blog, “Ministry to Children”. This is kinda cute and entertaining but lots of tips on Bible storytelling mind you. Go check it for yourself. To fully utilize this video, I would advice that you read the article on that blog by following this link

I made them watch this video twice then gave them 2 minutes to give their insights. I ask them to jot 5 things they notice on the little girl’s storytelling. Everyone is up to their feet and glued to my laptop. I could sense this lesson is a blockbuster to them as I see their faces smile and the discussions they had afterwards. We learned a lot from that video.

As for me, I employ narratives or stories in the sermon that I preach. It helps the listener to set to preaching time mode, pay close attention, make them smile, thrust an important lesson and leave something to think about in the end of the message. Do you do that too?

My sources range from news reports, special features, Magazine TV shows, books, blogs, films and stuff about social media. This makes part of my message fresh, interesting and relevant. But of course, I should spend more time with the Bible meditating and asking God for a message. Those sources should not come close as to the preaching. Nothing is far more fresh, interesting and relevant as the Word of God.

Adding story in a message sometimes just comes naturally and you don’t have to watch TV 24/7 to get something to put on a sermon. Even one glance of today’s news on TV or newspaper sometimes will do. If you’re an avid reader of books or blogs it is a plus for you. Also for every preacher and teacher the needs of God’s people should be the primary objective of a message. You can skip the delightful anecdote and go straight to the matter. It will be more beneficial to the believers. Another thing is using stories are not for the reason to make your sermon likable or acceptable but to make a powerful emphasis on what God impress to your heart to preach.

How about you? How do you use narratives in your preaching or Bible lessons? In what way you get stories for your message? What are some notable reactions you get when you telling a story?

Before I end this article, I would like you to watch this video produced by The Gospel Project. Hope this inspires you to make use of narratives to exalt Christ message to everyone who listens to you.