Sermon Notes: Yes, they Can!

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Have you ever watched a 6-year-old take notes during the sermon…real notes and not just creative doodles? Impossible, you say? Well, think again. With a little help and encouragement, you can start your children on a life-long habit of taking sermon notes. All you need is a sermon notebook—6” x 9” in size with wide rule lines and a stiff cover might be a good start—and a pencil or pen. For added interest, let your child pick out the notebook and pencil or pen, and designate these as his or her special “Sunday Sermon” tools. Then follow these simple and practical guidelines from Sharon L. Bratcher in her article, “Sermon Notes and Songs for Small Fries”:

As you listen to the sermon, write in the notebook a simple sentence that you have just heard the minister say. Remember to write it in the type of lettering that little George will be able to read, in the size that he is used to. Then hand it to George and tell him to copy it. If he is a beginner, he will take awhile to do so. When he hands it back to you, smile, and listen to the sermon for a moment, and write another sentence…

Depending on the age and patience of your child, you can decide whether to have him write 5 sentences, or 10, or more. As he improves, he will be quicker and will accomplish more. He may keep it up throughout, or he may tire. I usually found it beneficial to “push” my child to do just one more after he said he was getting tired of it. This helped him to develop endurance.

After the service, take the notebook home. If you will take a few moments to read it over when he is present, and to show it to your spouse, he will see that this is important to you, and it will help him to strive to do it well. If he is able, you might even have him read it as a part of your family Bible reading time…

This activity also gives him something very worthwhile to do during worship…It says to him that he is capable of taking sermon notes, just like the “big people” do…

 As his notebook progresses, you could use it during the week to help him remember what he learned on Sunday. If you are enthusiastic, he will be also.

 (Found at www.banneroftruth.org )

(Image courtesy of Paul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

 

 

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Children Desiring God.

2 Responses to “Sermon Notes: Yes, they Can!”

  1. Amy March 30, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    This is great! Thank you! I do have a question though. If the sermon is 45mins-1hr long or more and they tire after 30 mins do you allow them to do something else after or try to keep getting them to write sentences?

    • Karen Hieb March 30, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

      Good question! Some thoughts:

      – Depends on the age of the child…the younger the child, the more you need some flexibility and some other options:

      For example, allowing them to draw a picture of something they hear during the sermon would be an appropriate option, and you could even offer a few different colored pencils or crayons to do this. (I wouldn’t recommend markers or other writing implements that have covers that need to be removed.) Maybe even “mix it up”–-writing for 10 minutes, then drawing for 10 minutes, quiet “break time” (just listening) for 10 minutes…Then repeat.

      (This response came from the blog post author, Jill Nelson.)

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