Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Journaling sermon notes - by Jane Butcher

I don't know about you but I find myself more and more excited with the diverse ways Bible journaling can be used. In recent weeks we've seen blogs on so many amazing techniques; micro journaling, prayer journaling and journaling with people with special needs.

I love journaling in my Bible(s) but I also really loving using art to remind myself of favourite verses, songs, words shared by friends. I have several very small notebooks which I keep in my car, my handbag (purse), bedroom. I can just use them wherever I am to record a thought or idea which pops into my mind.

I'm sure many of you try to take notes during your Sunday service as I do. This has always proved to be somewhat unsatisfactory  for me. Just listening and trying to scribble down notes just doesn't work for me; I find myself frantically attempting to write down every word verbatim and so I end up not really listening to the message. When I get home and revisit my scribbled pages of notes I often simply can't read my own writing! I have certainly missed the crux of the message burying it under a surfeit of unnecessary wordage.

I have found that by applying some of my journaling "skills" I find myself listening to the whole message.  My recording focuses on key phrases, thoughts and images which more succinctly remind me and reveal to me the essence of the sermon or message.

my sermon notes kit

I have put together a little kit which contains everything I require and takes up very little space. I usually simply work in pencil while I'm at church though on occasion I am brave enough to work in pen. When I get home I read through my page and add little splashes of colour to highlight phrases and thoughts which are most important to me.

I think this could probably be best described as 'mind mapping' which is a technique taught to children in Primary School.  It's a great tool for organising thoughts and feelings.  I have found that this method of recording sits well with my need for visual as well as auditory reinforcement. Even though I am more naturally a writer and reader than an artist I still learn best and remember most when all my senses are involved.

I'm so grateful to have fallen into the world of Bible Journaling.  I'm not embarrassed to admit that I have spent more time in the Word in the last eighteen months than I have probably in the whole of my Christian life previously. So much has come alive, gained meaning and become rooted since I began this journey, I can't wait to learn new techniques, applications and insights. 

1 comment:

  1. I've found mind mapping really helpful to capture key messages from sermons - sadly I'm usually delivering them now rather than listening to them. But when I'm on my own I sometimes use the Lectio Divina method of reading scripture which encourages reading or listening to a passage and then seeing what jumps out and reflecting on what God might be showing through this. Then I try to journal it. Thanks for your post Jane, it's good to share ideas to encourage us all.