The Culture of Note-Taking and Effective Sermonic Technique

Sermon note-taking has long been practiced in various “church cultures,” and some may wonder about the future of the practice. Challenges to note-taking include secondary orality, the emergence of the digitoral generation, and the technologization of the world. This paper, engages with homiletics, systematic theology, communication studies, and discipleship studies to demonstrate the relevance of note-taking for enhancing listener engagement during the sermon. First, ,this paper will suggest a biblical and theological premise for note-taking. Second, it will investigate the relationship of note-taking to good listening and journaling. Third, it will describe methods of effective note-taking for both oral and digitoral sermon hearers. Fourth, it will discuss the criticism that note-taking is a distraction to the listeners. This paper will show that note-taking is still practiced by church-goers, and that while it should be encouraged, it should not be forced on worshippers in any way.