Sunday, October 24, 2010

commentary in a box

For the longest time, I was completely baffled about how to manage the growing pile of sermon notes I accumulated each Sunday at church.  These 1/2 sheets of paper, full of great biblical wisdom from our pastor, stayed in my bible until I cleaned it out, made their way into various piles around our house, fell out in the car, slipped into drawers, but they were never where I wanted them to be when I wanted to reference them.

Enter a new system which I have dubbed Commentary in a Box:
Bible commentaries can be expensive, especially when wanting a complete set.  If we are in church about 52 Sundays a year, those are basically free commentaries from our pastor!

Our pastor creates fill-in-the-blank notes for us each Sunday that are in our bulletin, so they have very practical information, but are not very practical for putting in a notebook to keep (unless you have a good idea to share with me).  I wanted an easy way to house my sermon notes, including lots that I took when we attended chapel three days a week in seminary.

Just a plain (brown because I love brown) photo box was the answer for me.  It just took a little time to round up my notes from piles around the house and then put them in order according to the Bible.  Now, when I'm studying a specific section in Scripture, I have this extra commentary easily accessible.  This works especially well because our pastor preaches mostly topigetically (somewhere between topically and exegetically for those who care).  I found this fun to say made-up word here!
(Here are the first few in my box!)

Sermon notes could also be kept topically, though that might be a little more work to organize.  Or they could possibly be ordered chronologically, especially if you write the date in your bible when your pastor preaches on a specific passage, like I have seen some people do.

I just wanted to share what I have found to work after years of keeping sermon notes but never fully utilizing them as an ongoing resource.  Do you have any differently sermon note systems that have worked for you?

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