How it grieves my heart to observe children in church talking with their friends, playing games, or goofing off when God’s Word is being preached. When children aren’t being taught to pay attention to messages at church, they are being trained to ignore God’s Word.
You can imagine how delighted I was to hear how Nathan and Melanie are teaching their children to listen attentively to messages. Each child who has taken good sermon notes earns one dollar per message. At a Sunday meal notes are submitted, read aloud to be discussed, and reviewed to see if they pass the criteria.
Here are their $1 note-taking criteria:
- Name of presenter and date must be at the top of the page.
- Handwriting that is readable and accurate. IE. “Children are the future” and not “children are the furniture.” You can see that spelling is important.
- Notes on the whole sermon, not just the beginning and ending.
Benefits the children in this family told us they have observed for taking notes on sermons:
- Keeps them focused and engaged in the message.
- They work hard to understand for their notes because they know the notes will be read to the family. They prefer not to have their siblings laugh at their notes.
- They get to listen to other’s notes being read, which reinforces the points of the message and fills in points they might have missed.
- Helps them learn Scripture and good note taking skills.
- They like the dollar.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).