The habit of taking notes at church has become prevalent. You often see young men and women pulling out their iPads, phones, notebooks, and pens as soon as the moderator announces, “It is time to listen to the word of God.” This practice is commendable since written messages serve as future references for the writer and those who come across them. It has resulted in many people accumulating valuable notes. However, the question arises: how are these insightful notes, taken week after week and sometimes on weekdays, being applied in our lives?
Nothing is more frustrating than observing people diligently taking notes during a sermon, only to do nothing with the information they have heard. Consequently, there is little distinction between many of us in church and our unbelieving neighbours.
In his book, James chapter 1:22-23, the Apostle James urges believers to not only be hearers of the Word but also doers of it. For someone who merely listens but fails to act, it is likened to looking in a mirror, seeing oneself, but then immediately forgetting one’s appearance upon leaving. Sadly, this has become a general pattern in our time. Most individuals prefer to record every revelation that falls from the preacher’s lips, but applying these teachings for personal transformation and impact becomes a challenge.
God purposely left believers on earth to be a light in the world. Our lives should serve as a proclamation of an impending kingdom. People should be able to observe us and recognise that there is something distinct about us. Our conduct in business should be different. Our marriages should testify to the love of Christ. How we raise our children should send a message to unbelievers that through Christ, children can be nurtured with moral values.
Christians cannot expect unbelievers to surrender to a Lord whose servants cannot even get along. As Apostle Paul declared in 2 Corinthians 3:2, “You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.” Our friends who have yet to believe, as well as others, are continually observing our lives. They want to witness changes that would inspire them to embrace our beliefs. The church must make God’s abundant wisdom known to those who are concerned. Thus, the responsibility rests on us to spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere we go by living out what we hear and write.
The sermons we write down from the pulpit should always be reviewed, and the lessons learned should be put into practice.
Therefore, let us not merely be Note Takers, but let us become Word Practitioners.
Written by Overseer Seth Frimpong (Jama District)