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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.