Have you ever sat in service and felt like God was speaking directly to you or your situation through the pastor? Ever been distracted during or immediately after that service and loose the revelation God just gave you?
Ever notice those people who take notes during church service? Maybe you are one of those people. But why should we need to take notes? Couldn’t we just buy a tape of the sermon or download the message? Isn’t hearing the word preached enough to make the point?
The short answer is no!
The long answer is found in the Parable of the Sower found in Matthew chapter 13.
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Later Jesus explained the meaning of the parable to His disciples.
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
Matthew 13:19 NIV
Here Jesus illustrates how quickly the message can be taken away from us. This can happen many ways; being distracted during service, being sleepy or preoccupied with thoughts about the events after service and even by being in service during service such as working in the nursery or choir for example.
Call me old school but I learned a long time ago just how to make sure I “get-it and don’t forget-it” when I’m sitting in church. Two invaluable tools needed are a good Bible and good notes.
The First – The Bible.
The owner of the Bible store I walked into just after getting saved showed me what I believe to be the best Bible ever – The Thompson Chain Reference King James Version!!
“What you need is the Word of God!” He told me. “No commentary or opinion or doctrine. Just the Word!” The chain reference simply means that the first key word in scripture is connected to every other mention in a chain. Kind of like a topical. No commentary just the Word. No flash just substance!
The Second – Sermon notes
Which is what I want to focus on here. We covered why they are needed now let’s look at what we need and how to take notes that the enemy can’t steal from us.
A Bible, Note book or note pad, Pens, A good seat
- A Bible
Preferably bring a Bible that is the same version as your pastor usually preaches from. Being old school I’m suggest the King James Version but to avoid the distraction of not being on the same page with the sermon follow your pastors lead. New King James and New International Version are widely used also.
Having a Bible that you feel comfortable writing in or highlighting the text is best. Also if it falls off of your lap while your taking notes it won’t break your heart.
- Note book or pad
This is a no brainer. Whatever you like. Lined or unlined. Spiral bound or loose sheets. Just be sure that you’re comfortable with whatever you choose because distractions are the devil’s thieves sent to steal the Word from you.
Several pens because one will run out of ink or not write. Just another way that you could be robbed of the message.
- A good seat
This might be more important then paper and pen because sitting near a door or on the isle where people may be coming and going can be very distracting. Ideally a seat with empty seats around you would be best.
As a rule the following should be noted
- The Sermon title
This may or may not be mentioned up front. It might be in the summation at the end. Regardless of when a title is revealed it should be placed at the top of the notes. This makes it easier to find when you want to revisit it.
- Key Scripture verses
During the sermon your pastor will (should) quote scripture. Turn to the verses in your Bible and read along. Make note of at least three key verses that pertain to the sermon. Write down any that you think of as addressing the main point if you think of any.
- The Main Point
Hopefully your pastor is getting to a point. The main idea or point that is being taught might be the same as the title and may not. Listen for it and write it down.
- Life Application
How can you, personally, apply the point to your life or spiritual journey? Is there something you should do or stop doing? Is there a physical (real world) change that needs to be made or a spiritual inner change?
This phrase is found in the psalms. It is literally a pause. Since the psalms are songs it’s said that “Selah” is a break in the rhythm of the music/song.
In the Hebrew this word comes from the root word meaning to “weigh”.
Either way you care to translate it, a pause or a moment to weigh/consider, both are equally applicable.
Later, after service, when you have finished with brunch and fellowship, take a moment to pause or weigh the message that you have heard and even more importantly still have. The birds of the air (the evil one) didn’t steal the revelation of Gods Word from you because you captured it on paper. It’s yours to relive, study and put into action.
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.
Be Blessed A&B