When I first saw The Sermon Notebook from Matthias Media, I asked myself, “Isn’t it just a moleskine? Why would I need this?”
My skepticism abated as I flipped through it and thought of its usefulness AND noticed disorganized stacks of single-page sermon notes in my Bible and on my desk.
Yes, the Sermon Notebook has a lot in common with a blank notebook, but it will help you engage sermons better each Sunday and long-term.
The resource begins with about ten pages describing the challenging art of listening to sermons and sharing tips for listening to sermons better. What follows is the bulk of the notebook: the sermon note section and six week reviews, enough sections for 52 weeks of sermons, or an entire year’s worth (see photo). In this section, the left page offers space for Sermon Notes while the right page offers prompts to think deeper about sermon content and application. I can see answering prompts like “I never knew”, “Something I should change”, or “My prayer response (repentance/thanks/praise)” to be helpful in reflecting over the sermon during the week. I can also see this portion prompting good discussion in sermon-based small groups and family devotion times.
The Sermon Notebook is not groundbreaking or revolutionary in any way. Instead it gives you just enough structure to improve what you do every week anyway. The Six Week reviews are another evidence of this: they encourage readers to reflect on the last six weeks of sermons prayerfully, because it’s so easy to hear a good sermon one Sunday and never think of it again.
I wish I had this at the start of this year because our church is going through a year-long series on the Bible Story and this would have been the perfect notebook to corral all my notes. I could see a pastor recommending this to his congregation as a New Year’s Resolution.
Overall, the Sermon Notebook from Matthias Media is a great way to engage the preached Word more strategically. And it will probably keep your Bible a little more organized as well!