I recently found a great sermon and lesson organizer notebook at McKay’s Books in Knoxville, TN. The first pages made the book worth the find. I want to share with you some hints for becoming an effective “active listener” as listed in the book:
- Sit toward the front and center of the room. Vision and hearing are better.
- Tune in. Listening takes energy.
- Avoid distractions such as doorways, window glare and people who may distract you.
- Have two pens in case one runs out of ink.
- Write the date and topic on the top of your note-page.
- Prepare yourself mentally. Ask God to help you listen actively.
- Pay attention to the speaker for verbal, postural, and visual clues as to what is important. Repetition often indicates an important point.
- Listen to the introduction and write down the overall theme of the talk or sermon. What challenges or questions does the speaker raise?
- Be selective. Some points are more important than others. Write down only the main ideas and divide the lesson into key points. Number each point. Use letters or bullet points to highlight sub-points.
- Don’t try to write down every word spoken. Concentrate on key words or thoughts and jot down words or phrases, not entire sentences. Write down a two or three word description of illustrations given to highlight key points. Use symbols ( +,=, &,@,w/ (“for with”), etc.
- Write scripture references next to key points.
- Instead of getting ready to leave immediately at the end of the sermon or lesson, listen carefully to the information given toward the end. Summary statements may be of particular value in highlighting main points.
- After the lesson, review you notes and write down applications from the lesson to your life. Learning without application is worse than no learning at all. Once we hear a word from God, we are responsible for that word.
- As part of your daily devotional time, re-read the scriptures used as a part of the lesson. Underline or make notations in your Bible’s margin to highlight these scriptures for later reference. Commit to memory one of the key scripture references each week.
– Taken from Family Christian Press, Sermon & Lesson Organizer
Hopefully this will assist you in the “art of listening.” We look forward to seeing you tonight at Bible Study. The church is located at 15540 Lee Highway in between Skyland Coin and Jewelry and Economy Inn. Bible Study starts at 7:30, but you are welcome to join us for pre-service prayer at 7:00.