Do you want to know the three things your pastor most wants you to bring with you to church this Sunday? I know the cynics will say, “My wallet, a friend and a willingness to laugh at bad jokes.” In response to that, let me go out on a limb and say that if that’s actually true, it’s time to find a new church. I’ll also tell you how I would answer the question for the people I lead at Restoration City:
- A Bible
- A Notebook
- A Pen
I know I’m running the risk of sounding like a cranky old guy but let me press it one step further: your plan to consolidate all three of those into one smartphone isn’t a good one. You need to go old school on this one and use paper. Before you totally write me off, I’ll let you know that I absolutely have the YouVersion of the Bible on my phone and love it. I use Evernote and understand that I’m writing this on a blog. And oftentimes my pens are out of ink.
But if you really want to get the most out of Sunday, you’ll bring a Bible, a notebook and a pen. Michael Hyatt, one of the most successful distributors of electronic content in Christian publishing today, recently wrote a fascinating blog on the advantages of paper books over ebooks. One of the advantages he writes about is improved memory. In my experience, this is certainly true of studying the Bible. I tend to remember things better from a paper Bible and be able to find the verse again easier in the future if I’ve had to flip to it in the pages of a Bible.
Note taking will enable you to get exponentially more out of a sermon. If you come to the sermon with the expectation that God is going to say something to you, you might also want to come with a way to record that. Jot down verses, questions, thoughts, action steps, key phrases, whatever impacts you. Taking notes in a sermon is the easiest way to accelerate your spiritual growth this weekend.
Your Bible, notebook and pen are a tangible reflection of your attitude towards the sermon. If you’re coming to be entertained, you don’t need them. If you’re coming to learn, you wouldn’t consider leaving them at home.
Whether you’re part of Restoration City or another local church, there’s no greater sound on a Sunday morning than the rustling of pages. Your pastor will love it. And so will you!