It's funny to me that I would actually have two blogs concerning sermon notes, but you know what? That's really a lot of what the Bible is--sermon notes. So sermon notes must be important because God took time to make sure that His sermons were recorded in written form. They are what are life food, strength and growth to us because they are HIS word and they are life.
So , why are sermon notes important?
A sermon is not written by a Pastor. A sermon is a message received by the Pastor. The message comes from God. So a sermon is a message, sent through a messenger from God to me. When we receive messages from people on our answering machines, we write down the things that are important that we need to remember. So why should our attitudes about God's messages to us be any different? Too often we spend much too much time looking at or judging the messenger, so if we don't write down what he says, we might miss the message altogether. And I would dare say that ANY and ALL messages to us from God are vitally important, even if we don't like the packaging they may come in.
Sermons are preached to a select group of people. We might think that we picked our church, but hopefully God picked our church for us. (Way too many people do not involve God in the church picking process which is why they struggle in their Christian walk.) So although the sermons being preached in our town might be as varied as a box of chocolates, the sermon WE are hearing was tailored just for us. (yes, even the "ouchy" sermons!) We are part of the universal Body of Christ, but we live that out as part of a local body. So the sermon we hear is a message from God to us personally and to the local body that we are a part of.
If we do not take the time to assimilate what the message means to each of us on a personal level, then the effect that the message can have on us corporately will be hindered. It will cause a diverse vision amongst those whose who should have the same vision that God has laid on the heart of the Pastor. This causes an imbalance in the body that often leads to strife, confusion and disunity. When a Pastor preaches for or against something and there are "hold outs" in the body, it sends a mixed message to the young in the Lord which causes confusion and lack of respect for either the Pastor or the one holding back on complying with the direction of the Lord that has come through the Pastor. What is way worse is when the holdout is someone in leadership who arrogantly thinks that they know better than the Pastor does. This is just plain sinful. They are just plain unfit for ministry.
Why do we go to church anyway? We can all spout off the spiritual reasons that we go to church, but honestly if we look at our lives, what do they tell us about our reasons and motivations for going to church? Do we really go to meet with a Holy, Almighty, All-deserving God? Do we come, as those in scripture, to hang on every holy word that is spoken? Or are we more Pharisaical in our attendance, attending because we would look bad if we didn't, it's just what we do as part of the "Christian" experience, or our flesh is soothed/comforted or excited/exhilarated by the worship? Do we really come to offer to God sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise and to hear the message from the Holy Scriptures? Do we come ready to be used by God if He so desires?
And if we do come to hear, what do we do to prove that we are thoroughly interested in what God has to say? We would never attend a class without a notebook. We usually don't make any big decisions without sitting down and counting the cost and looking over the information that we need to implement that decision. Many even take a notebook to the doctor's office to write down what the doctor tells them so that it can be deciphered later. There is no way that we can remember everything that is said in a sermon unless we write some things down. I can guarantee that if I go to church, the Lord will say at least one thing that applies to me but more times than not, He says a WHOLE lot! And it is a blessing in my life!