Why Our Sunday School Class Takes Sermon Notes

On the very first day we started teaching our Sunday school class of 4-6th graders, we taught them how to take sermon notes. This was something new for all of them, and they were a little intimidated. But what a wonderful learning opportunity it has been for them and for us.

We've been convicted of several reasons our youth need to be paying attention during the service:

* They need to be attentive in the sanctuary.
* They need to hear the preaching, whether they understand it all or not.
* If they pay attention in church, they'll be able to pay attention other places, too.
* They will learn lots of new words.
* They won't be afraid to ask questions about things they don't understand.
* They are spending time with adults, which offers a multitude of benefits to young hearts and minds.

Taking notes during the sermon can be difficult even for adults, but imagine being 10 years old and now sitting in the congregation instead of going downstairs for children's church. We rocked their little worlds - hopefully in a good way.

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. John 6:45

Our pastor puts an insert in the bulletin each week that outlines his message, so we use that as a jumping-off point for the kids. From there, we give them a handout that asks them a number of questions in a fun format of boxes and shapes. There are spaces to take note of what Scripture Pastor is preaching from, what songs we sang and even a block to draw a picture of something they heard.

The best part of this sheet, though, has been a thought bubble that asks them to list any words they heard but didn't understand. When they come show us the paper after the service, we can sit with them right there and explain what those words mean. It's been an incredible opportunity to find out what they know, what they don't know and how we can teach them concepts on their level.

In just the three months we've been teaching these upper-elementary students, there have been some incredible moments of clarity that were a joy to watch. This is why we agreed to teach - so we could share Jesus Christ with the next generation of believers and help them grow in their walk with the Lord. This starts by listening to the sermon and soaking up all of God's word that they can.

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