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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Sunday Snippet: To Take Sermon Notes or Not…That is the Question? – A GiveAway…

March 11th, 2014 · 22 Comments

So on a Sunday morning our kids stay in the church service with us. The sing the hymns, they read the readings, they pray through the prayers and they listen to the sermon. It isn’t that we don’t agree with Sunday school or children’s church, but we are all for families worshipping together. Our kids do attend Bible Study for kids during the week and in our previous church when children’s church was at the same time as adult bible study they naturally attended the children’s program. But when it comes to the actual Sunday service we all attend together. It is getting a little tighter to fit ten of us on a pew – these kids must grow!!!

Getting to church is so part of their life, they have probably only missed a Sunday or two in their lives… due to chicken pox. Recently a friend asked me about what my kids do during church… and I had to think about that. I thought they listened to the sermon, but she was insistent… what activity books do I use to keep them quiet. I have never used activity books or puzzles or anything really, to keep them quiet. I was kind of hoping that the sermon would be interesting enough to keep them engaged. Which leads to the next question folk ask us, “What if the sermon is pitched way over their heads?” – and here I have to say, if a sermon is too difficult for my children to understand then it is more than likely too difficult for me to understand. Really I think folks might be selling their kids short, they might be small but they are definitely not stupid.

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Getting back to those pesky activities, my kids all take their bible and they do have notebooks that they write in from time to time, but honestly they mostly just listen. I certainly don’t demand notes, I think it is a personal choice. Also, I think a notebook in church is definitely a coming of age thing, our youngest is still too young because any parent will know that there is no such think as a quiet four year old boy drawing in a notebook… cars vroom, lions roar, you get the picture. The rest of the kids collectively would make fabulous sermon notes: One draws a mind map of the sermon; another writes down all the bible references…every book, chapter and verse; another illustrates what they hear… one carefully copies the ten commandments off the wall each week and another fills pages with morse code… I kid you not, endless dots and dashes – that one just can’t be facing writing all those words.

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The father person has boxes and boxes of notebooks that he has filled with notes over the years…I must say just a glance at them, though I cannot for the life of me read his writing, but just a glance at a page puts me straight back in a sermon we might have been together at years and years ago… they really are diaries. And as for my sermon notes, I have none. I confess, I am just so pleased to be there and listening… if I am writing then I am most likely doodling and by the time a pen connects with a notebook my mind is wandering – shopping lists spring to mind, blog post ideas… I really need to stick to just listening.

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Recently a friend asked if my kids made good notes during the sermon on a Sunday morning and I had to have a little smile to myself… having taken a peak into their notebooks, I know these are not exactly great literary or theological works. But then we received this book to review and my kids all loved the look of it… have I been missing an opportunity to write fabulous notes. Let me describe the Sermon NoteBook: A ring-bound notebook and inside the front cover is a very handy list of all the books in the bible – very useful when you are trying to look up the bible reading. A couple of blank pages inviting you to list your favourite bible verses and things to pray for, answered prayers and things to think about. That section is followed by a couple of pages of famous bible passages… the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes and so on. Then on to the main section of the book: a spread a service with a place to include date and place, sermon title and passage… things to think about, ask about, pray about and then a blank page or two and place to fill in your personal application from the sermon.

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I do think that reviewing the sermon afterwards on the way home or over lunch does help to iron out the wrinkles in their sermon note taking… we ask and answer quite a few questions and from week to week that helps to fix the sermon in our minds. Often when I ask folk about the week before’s sermon they look at me sort of blankly… I don’t think just note taking is the answer to remembering what our pastors have worked so hard to prepare for us. A certain amount of review and pondering is necessary… but I am thinking maybe we should try a month of note-taking… and see how it benefits us.


The GiveAway

So we have a copy of one of these fab notebooks to GiveAway to a lucky reader. This GiveAway works in the usual way, leave a comment before the end of 17 March, 2014 and tell us “Do you take sermon notes or not?” I am really curious to know!!! We will draw and publish the winners in the Friday fun Post after that. I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.

Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. If you live on the far side of the world – enter away. Postage takes forever from here but eventually it should get to you! Good luck and happy commenting!!!

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As usual we have to thank Christian Book Discounters, who supply Sunday Snippet GiveAway books for us to review and GiveAway. We are not paid to write our reviews and the opinions expressed are entirely our own.

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Tags: GiveAways and Swaps · Sunday Snippet

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cindy // Mar 11, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I am a note taker. I usually write key things I want to remember and scriptures read from or mentioned for reading at a later time.

  • 2 cat@jugglingact // Mar 11, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I do not do at the moment – I find that taking notes and keeping an eye on the sprogs and lead the singing in some services are just too much for my brain. We have a fabulous family service – where the sermons are pitched on two levels – for the kids and then more detailed for the parents. It works really well.
    cat@jugglingact´s last blog post ..I had bookclub on Tuesday night

  • 3 tami // Mar 11, 2014 at 8:53 am

    I used to take notes as a teenager. It used to help me focus. Been thinking about taking notes again recently for exactly the same reason. Isn’t it amazing how many distractions you can find during the sermon? So in answer to your question, no…not at the moment but I used to. :)

  • 4 Wendy Meijer // Mar 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I take notes in my diary but this sounds fabulous!

  • 5 Marcia (123 blog) // Mar 11, 2014 at 10:23 am

    We don’t allow kids under 10 in the main auditorium. To be fair, I wouldn’t want that either mainly because I find most parents don’t care how their kids behave……and if that was all the God I’m getting in a week, I want ALL of it to be heard :)

    That said, we have children’s church which I think is fabulous (free babysitting for 2 hours every week!!!) or alternatively when we have slightly sick kids, the family room. But again, people don’t keep their kids in order and I’ve had to say to kids “shhh, I can’t hear the pastor”.

    D and I both take notes in church – depending on the message, I may take more or less. We usually take a notebook and some pencils/ crayons or a magnadoodle, etc. with us to church for the kids.
    Marcia (123 blog)´s last blog post ..Being in limbo

  • 6 Ellen // Mar 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I like taking notes but I also don’t anymore.

  • 7 Julia // Mar 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I am a note-taker; helps to keep me focused on the sermon otherwise my mind wonders to shopping lists etc. I also find it helpful in reflecting over the sermon afterwards with my husband.

  • 8 Erin // Mar 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I, too, take notes during the sermon to help me focus. When my children are old enough to follow along in their Bibles and copy things down, they begin “taking notes” by copying the sermon’s scripture passage in a note book. As they have gotten older, their notes are changing from copying the scripture to also writing down other passages mentioned to being able to write down notes based on the sermon.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • 9 Mrs FF // Mar 12, 2014 at 7:03 am

    I take notes during sermons . At one point lots of note but recently I scaled it back a bit as I found I was too focused on getting detailed notes and was missing outon the essence of the service. These days I’m more likely to “jot” down important facts and bible verses on my smart phone

  • 10 Check out | HeadHeartHand Blog // Mar 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

    […] To Take Sermon Notes Or Not, That Is The Question Good discussion about the who, what, when, why, and how of taking notes while listening to a sermon. […]

  • 11 Delene // Mar 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I take notes during the sermon. Great way to keep focused. Normally I have a whole lot of doodling on the same page too.

  • 12 Sanna // Mar 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I don’t take notes during the sermon, for the first part of the service I sit together with my husband and 1 year old and the for the sermon I take to a small room at the back of the church where she can move around and I can still hear, but taking notes would be a bit difficult

  • 13 Cora // Mar 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I take notes and the main reason is that it helps me stay focused (minimizes distractions) and offers the opportunity to go back and look at notes later. IF my mind wanders, and it certainly does at times, I make a quick note in the back of the notebook, which “allows” me to forget about that thought (which is usually about something i need to do – send a card, email someone, etc). Later I can go back to my “to-do list to follow up. When our kids took notes, they would write down the passages or one particularly artistic child would illustrate the story, which was always interesting to see what he “heard” or applied from a child’s perspective.

  • 14 Nikki // Mar 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I take notes during the sermon. Tried looking up the sermon notebook online but couldn’t find it. Would love this book for my daughter! Is there a link to the book for purchase?

  • 15 Deanna Doctor // Mar 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I do not take notes during the sermon. But I do write little thoughts next to key verses in my Bible during the preaching time.

  • 16 Daniel // Mar 13, 2014 at 1:01 am

    I take notes, but reviewing them afterward helps them stick much better. Also, I’ve found taking notes on the Sunday insert and then copying over the key points into my notebook helps.

  • 17 Lucy // Mar 13, 2014 at 2:57 am

    With my husband as the minister, I always have a little one on my knee. I’m always amazed what kids pick up from the sermon. No pencils allowed for the little ones. My 13 year old loves taking notes of the sermon and LOVES notebooks. She would be thrilled to get a new one in the post specifically for writing sermon notes.

  • 18 Michelle // Mar 13, 2014 at 4:47 am

    I occasionally take notes, but it is hard with the littlest ones next to me. I do find that taking notes helps me focus and retain more. Hopefully in the next few years, I can take up note taking again.

  • 19 Mamalion // Mar 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I am a copious notetaker. I can’t remember a thing, so I write, write, write. Our pastor puts his sermons online though, so if I need to go back and listen again, I have that option. My friends tease me during our Bible Studies because I scribble all over numerous pages, trying to get everything down.

  • 20 DeniseE // Mar 14, 2014 at 4:47 am

    I usually take notes myself & I’m teaching my group in Kid’s Church to take notes in church via sermon notes activities I’ve found online.

  • 21 Katie L // Mar 16, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I took notes extensively until I married at 21 years old. Now that I have 3 children under 4, note taking is not for the moment. :) But I miss it! (I also miss being able to focus on a sermon, now that I am wrestling three kids – my husband is a pastor and I’m alone and outnumbered during services!) I have notes written in the margins of my Bible which I’ve had since I was 7 years old. It is really special to look back on them and remember specific sermons and specific preachers and specific congregations where I have sat under the ministry of the Word!

  • 22 Sunday Snippet: A Syding Adventure of Caravans and Casltes and a GiveAway... - se7en // Mar 25, 2014 at 2:57 am

    […] And we need to announce the winner of our recent GiveAway, Sermon Notes: […]

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