There are seasons when I take notes in church on Sundays and seasons where I just listen and soak into my heart what’s being shared. I have only been taking notes for about ten years. Most of the time I have used a small spiral notebook since it fits in with my Bible. Other times I scrounge in my purse or Bible for any blank side or spot on a piece of paper or handout. I haven’t been too organized about this.
After reading a post by Courtney Joseph on “How to Take Sermon Notes on Sundays” I was challenged to take note-taking to the next level and be more intentional and wholehearted about it this year. I really appreciate what Courtney shared about her mother faithfully taking notes in church since 1975. Can you imagine? She has saved all those books and can reference them when the need arises in her Sunday School class, not to mention the storehouse of treasure in her heart.
Are you still with me, or over at Women Living Well? ;-)
Here are 7 Ways to WholeHeartedly take Note-Taking to the Next Level:
- Purchase a notebook.
- Keep your notebook in your Bible case (so you can find it on Sundays). If you use it during the week, RETURN IT!!
- Make a ‘Contents’ page: leave some blank pages at the front of your book to list the sermon titles.
- Start each sermon on a fresh new page with date and speaker’s name.
- Make sure to write the references for Bible verses. I like writing the verse out as I am listening. Even part of it. In reality, I know I will seldom look up each verse when referring to my notes.
- Put “bullets” (dots) for each new point. I don’t worry about making an outline. I find that impossible. Whatever works for you. These are your notes.
- Write shortened words where necessary. You are not doing a handwriting course or leaving a legacy for the next generation. This is for you.
If you go strong all week and your body just lets down on Sundays and you fight falling asleep; sermon note taking is the best way to stay awake. Taking notes keeps your mind and heart alert so that you are a ‘hearer of the word’, allowing God to work in you. Seeds are being cast into the field through the message and I don’t want my heart’s ground to be stony or thorny so that I do not receive what I am hearing.
I have grown so much spiritually through even the random habit of note taking. It has helped me to hide what God has taught me through our pastor’s messages on Sunday.
I have a greater ability to recall what was laid on my heart through Sunday’s sermons when I take notes as I tend to remember them better. When I don’t (I have a problem of being a ‘forgetful hearer’) I just look at my notes and it all comes back to my memory.
When I do my job of wholeheartedly listening to the sermon, God is better able to do His job of quickening me through His Holy Spirit. Yes, He is God and can bring something to memory whether or not I listened. I theoretically don’t have to ‘help’ God but there is a principle involved here of ‘drawing near to God so He will draw near to me.“
I am going to purchase a notebook for 2014 and start a faithful habit (not random, one week on three off) of taking notes so I can apply God’s Word to my heart. Will you take this challenge in 2014 with me?
Stop over to see what I shared yesterday, March 2nd, 2014, over at Coffee For The Soul. The ladies who contribute are doing a series on The Attributes of God during March. So, sign up and Wake up to the glory of God each morning. I have never been so fascinated by the attributes of God as I learn to experience His Majesty in a new and deeper way.
This week I am over at Missional Call doing a series on Hudson Taylor: The Man Who Shook China With the Gospel.