Hello my lovely friends! I hope if you’re in the United States, you’re enjoying a long weekend of celebrating our country’s independence like me! My family has enjoyed a good weekend together with grandparents and friends, and we look forward to more fun on the Fourth! Today I’m sharing with you a series I’ve been sitting on for a few weeks called Lessons in Parenting from the Child! You’re going to love it!
Before I jump right in with today’s lesson, I want to share what I mean by the title. Today and for the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a number of parenting lessons I learned as a child. I learned these lessons from how my parents taught me, and I wanted to implement them into my own life.
Every Monday I plan to share a different parenting lesson I learned from my childhood. I hope these posts will inspire you with some great reminders from your own childhood, maybe things you forgot that you might want to implement in your own parenting. These are some of my favorite lessons learned as a child, and I share this to honor my amazing parents, who helped make me into the woman I am today.
Today’s lesson comes from years and years of taking notes, so with no further ado, let me introduce our lesson.
The Benefits of Teaching Your Child To Take Sermon Notes
Yes, that’s right, we’re starting off with a spiritual lesson, but it has practical applications. Hang with me today because I think you’ll appreciate the lesson I’m sharing!
When I was a little girl, I went to church every time the doors were open. We attended Sunday morning and evening services and went back on Wednesday nights for dinner and classes. My parents went to things like EE classes (EE = Evangelism Explosion), and I went to the classic GA class (GA = Girls in Action). For a long time, I went to a Christian private school my church opened as well, so you could say I grew up going to church!
As a child, I felt bored by sermons, like most kids do. It’s hard to sit still for sermons when you’re expected to be quiet the whole time. I took books with me and would read instead of paying attention to the sermon.
My mother gave me an ultimatum at one point or another. I was old enough to pay attention to the message, and I wasn’t allowed to bring a book with me anymore. I can’t remember how old I was, only that I needed to figure out how to pay attention and fast! Mom made sure I knew that I couldn’t sit there and daydream either, so I needed a good way to pay attention to the message.
My solution was to start taking notes. I got a cute notebook and took that with me to church (along with my Bible, of course) and began taking notes on the sermon. At that time, we went to a medium sized church that was growing rapidly. We worshipped in a small sanctuary where we used hymnals for the worship music and had church bulletins handed out with the week’s activities printed in them.
I began taking notes on Sunday mornings by listing the title of the message, the pastor’s name, the date, and the listed Scripture. Before long I had a method to my note-taking that took precedence in my writing, and I would write several pages of paragraph-style notes on every sermon.
I realize many people now take notes, and everyone has their own style of note-taking. For me, mine developed quite organically as I hung on the pastor’s words and tried to get down everything he said. In fact, he would go on to the next point and I would continue listening as I finished up something from the previous point before charging ahead with the next one. It became my method of retaining the sermon, and I can still go back to other sermons and remember them simply because of how I took notes on them.
Why do I share this? Because there are some great values in learning this lesson as a young child. I can’t remember exactly how old I was when I started this, but I have a collection of notebooks dating all the way back to 1997 (possibly earlier) that tell me I was fairly young.
What Are The Benefits of Taking Sermon Notes as a Child?
Retaining the Message
A big part of my sermon note-taking included finding ways to pay attention and retain what the pastor said. My parents sometimes asked me what I thought of the message, and sometimes I offered my opinion. Regardless, having those notes helped me to go back if I had questions. Many times, too, I wrote down questions or things I wanted to look up later, and it helped having the written record to go back to later.
Any Christian (or even religious) parent wants his or her child to learn about their faith and retain that knowledge as the child grows. I know that writing notes as a child helped me to remember some of those messages that really impacted my life.
Building Good Writing Habits
I learned a lot of my writing habits through note-taking. I became a lover of words as I listened to pastors weave together pictures of Scripture and what it meant. I developed writing habits that followed me into young adulthood and have been helpful in so many areas of my life.
The best part this is note-taking was never a requirement. My mother wanted me to pay attention, but she didn’t tell me how. I chose the method of note-taking and made it work for me, which was a great lesson for me as a child. I have piles of notebooks of sermons that I can look back on because I chose to write them down. I learned to listen closely, pull out the things I thought were most important, and write it all down – a method I still use today.
Giving Children Autonomy
I think one of the best things about the whole experience of note-taking is that it came about openly. I never had to take notes. My parents never required that. I took it up on my own and began doing it because I wanted to. I had autonomy to decide what I would do to pay attention to the message.
Children need a little autonomy in their lives to help them develop, I think. Some of my friends would draw pictures to help them pay attention in church. I know several people who even crochet or knit to keep their hands busy so they can listen properly. For me, note-taking became the best way to keep my mind occupied with the sermon, and it’s been so wonderful to have developed that experience.
Prepare Children for Future Studies
Perhaps one of the most interesting benefits of sermon note-taking for me was that it prepared me for future studies. By that, I mean I became very adept at general note-taking. In middle and high school, I stayed at the top of my class simply because I could take good notes and use them for studying.
When I got to college, I used my note-taking skills to help me out in some of the tougher and more boring classes I took. The skill served me well and continues to serve me well as I take online courses to learn more about blogging. Simply put, this skill I began as a child really has followed me into adulthood and made learning things so much easier. Studies show that writing what we hear helps us retain information better, and I can easily vouch for that after using my skills over the years.
The Beauty of Sermon Notes
Sermon notes can be anything you want them to be. Children view the world in such a unique way that encouraging them to take notes might even be challenging to you as a parent. They see things in simple terms, and if you share the note-taking with them, you might gain opportunities to talk to them in more depth about your faith and theirs.
I know I asked my parents lots of questions over the years from taking notes. It brought us closer together as we shared our faith, and I know it helped my own faith grow.
There you have it! My first parenting lesson as seen from the child. What do you think? Would you encourage your children to do something like note-taking to help them retain the sermon at church? In today’s church, we have Children’s Church that helps occupy them for so many years that they don’t necessarily get the experience of attending sermons as early as I did. It’s not a bad thing at all, just a difference. Anyway, share your thoughts on this in the comments, and be looking forward to another lesson coming your way soon!