When you settle in during church, do you take sermon notes?
During my middle & high school youth days, I did a ton of doodling, highlighting, and tiny note-taking in the margins of my bible. I’d once heard a quote when I was a kid that was something like “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to a person who isn’t” and I basically took that and ran with it. 😉 I carried the same Bible for years and years, and I loved stumbling upon the notes I’d written beside various passages.
Fast forward several years to my mid-20s, and I was no longer taking sermon notes of any kind or even bringing a Bible to church. “The notes and passages were on the screen, so why bother?” I thought. (I actually still don’t bring a physical Bible to church, which I’m not quite sure what my excuse is. I’ve just gone so long without bringing one I guess.)
One day my pastor in Tennessee said something really convicting about why taking sermon notes is so important, and though I can’t remember specifically what he said, I remember it made a tremendous amount of sense.
It took a few months to actually follow through with what he said that day, but eventually I purchased a small notebook that could fit in my purse and started taking occasional sermon notes.
I remember taking notes during a church service in Arizona, and then four weeks later we moved to Kansas. At the first church we visited in Kansas, the preacher shared about the exact same passage in the Bible that the Arizona pastor has discussed. The crazy thing was that they both had varying interpretations of that passage, and I would have never been able to compare the two had I not taken notes in Arizona.
I scratched my head a little bit about their varying interpretations and then studied the passage a bit further on my own because I was so curious how two Christian non-denominational preachers could interpret it so differently.
For whatever reason, I fell off the “sermon note taking” bandwagon for a couple of years, but picked it back up about a year ago. Since then, I’ve carried the same pink notebook in my purse 24/7 so that I never forget it for church. At first I felt a little self-conscious whipping out my own notebook to take sermon notes because I didn’t see many people doing it, but it helps me so much with studying the Word.
For me personally, taking notes forces me to listen, and writing down important points helps me really think about what was said and remember it. I also love that as soon as I open my notebook to take notes each Sunday, I immediately remember what was taught the prior week and am caught back up to speed, especially during a sermon series.
I know if at the end of a sermon I have barely anything written down that I was obviously very distracted about something and wasn’t searching for anything to write. If I didn’t have a notebook out, I might not have realized how distracted I truly was.
So, do you take sermon notes? If so, what have you learned from doing so? Do you bring a physical Bible or do you use your phone (or nothing at all like me – whoops)? (Jamie always uses his Bible app and highlights verses as he reads them.) I know most churches hand out papers with fill-in-the-blank sermon guides, but those don’t grip my attention quite like having to take my own notes and formulate my own thoughts well enough to clearly write them out in a way that makes some sense.
Would love to hear your thoughts!! I’m so curious!
Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!