Sunday, January 26, 2014

Children Are Taking Notes in Church?

I’m in church with my children.  The two 9 year olds are singing and enjoying the service.  Then, the Pastor begins to preach.  I’m taking notes and trying to learn.  But, the kids lose interest.  They get fidgety.  On a good day, they quietly doodle while waiting for church to end.  They are hanging on me.  They are distracting.  There should be a better way.

I want to raise children who actually love God and have a relationship with Him.  I don’t want them to just go through the motions.  I don’t want them to attend church just to please me or because that’s what good Christians are supposed to do.  I want them to enjoy church and enjoy growing in their relationship with God.  This isn’t working.  There should be a better way.

I look at my notes.  I look at them.  Then, it comes to me.  Why can’t they take notes?  Note taking will force them to pay attention.  It will get them to be engaged.  It will keep them involved and, hopefully, interested.  It will help us talk about the message while we eat lunch.

I get them to take notes.  I’m surprised.  They are actually doing it.  I think they are even enjoying it.  Sometimes, I laugh at the content.  My daughter’s writes, “Pastor likes pot roast with his chicken parmesan.”  Other times, I can see that they are really getting it.  Her note says, “Jesus is the main attraction.”  They’re asking me questions about the sermon.  My son runs out of space in the bulletin and asks for more paper.  He requests a notebook.  I’m pleased.  They are getting it.  Church is becoming more than just some boring thing that Christians have to do.  They are involved, learning, and enjoying it.   

I want to seize this opportunity and spread it to other children.  Now, at my church, I give candy to any child who takes notes during the service.  On the first week, the kids come with their notes.  I give out candy.  They smile.  I don’t plan to read their notes, but some want me to read what they wrote.  It’s exciting to see.  Parents are pleased and thanking me.

Many adults of all ages tell me it’s a great idea.  I appreciate their thoughts.  But, I wonder, “Do they take notes?”  If note taking is a good idea for children, then it should also be a good idea for adults.  Why would a child want to takes notes if their parents don’t take notes?  Personally, it helps me learn and remember the message.  It keeps me engaged in the service.  My mind is more active. 

You should give note taking a try and suggest it to your kids.  If you need some motivation, come see me after the service and I’ll give you some candy.

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