Taking notes is like standing under a waterfall with a basket, trying to catch water.
Think about this and let the concept grow in your mind. You need to be a little bit aware of where the minister is going, fully present with the thoughts he’s expressing, and attentive to catch the different points he’s making.
Taking notes is actively gathering inspiration that you can come back to later in the week or years down the road.
Plus if you can do it in a way that’s understandable out of the context of physically being under the sound of the preacher’s voice, you are skilled.
How often do you take notes in church? On a regular basis? Or just sometimes when the message is super good? Has there been a time in your life where you know you’ve heard a message preached on a certain subject before, but you just can’t remember the main points? Or maybe you’ve sat under an inspiring sermon, and thought to yourself, I should get a CD of this one
I’m convinced that note taking is going out of style. This is sad!. Having a journal or notebook full of sermon notes is a real treasure. The ability to go back to certain messages and remember the inspiration that you felt then, is a valuable resource.
So I came up with three tips that will help you take better sermon notes.
Tip #1 is: Stay alert. Prepare. This is maybe the most important thing you can do for successful note taking. Simply get enough sleep so that your mind is fresh and active. Don’t roll out of bed and go to church. A long night’s rest, a hot shower to wash the week away, and a good breakfast will start you well on your way to staying alert during church.
A daily immersion in God’s Word will make you familiar with Scripture, and so as soon as the preacher says his first reference, you can kind of guess what his subject will be. Tip #2 is: Thinking ahead. This is an important key to good notes. Usually the preacher will give you an overview before he gets into his message. From that you can think ahead to the points that are coming up, and plan the way you take your notes.
Do you like to doodle during the message? Good! Believe it or not, that’s actually a good thing. Creativity is Tip#3 and an excellent way to trigger memories of when you were sitting under the sound of the preacher’s voice. As a bonus, doodling or drawing also helps you stay awake. It doesn’t matter if your spacing is a little off and your box runs off the page. Or maybe you (like me) can only write in one font — that’s okay too!
And…so long my friends. I hope these doodles from my brave, talented, friends and I will inspire you to take notes this Sunday!