I have written before on the topic of taking notes during a sermon, why I think it’s helpful and a few suggestions on different ways to approach notes. I have also written about ways to help you remember what you read in your personal devotions and little tips that might help you out. Every now and then some resources come my way out of the blue, or people drop me a message and ask me to review their stuff. It can be quite fun. Some are more helpful than others. But if it is something that can help you continue to learn and apply God’s Word after a Sunday morning, I’m interested.
Soar Journal is a journal that is split into 52 weeks. This book is designed to help you listen more intently to sermons, continue the learning through each week and grow more in your knowledge and application of God’s Word.
Each week is covered in 4 pages. Two pages are given to note taking during the Sunday service. One page is given for an ‘immediate review’ after the sermon. This page has sections for a summary sentence of the sermon, action steps, prayer requests, additional Scripture references and a memory verse. The final page of each week is a 6 day daily journal. Each day has a few lines for notes and 3 tick boxes (read Scripture, Scripture memory and prayer requests).
This journal could be a helpful tool for the Christian who is not used to taking notes, or who struggles to engage with the sermon text outside of a Sunday service. It allows sufficient space for notes and enough space to reflect on the sermon properly afterwards.
I have 2 small criticisms of this journal;
- It’s evident that this has been published independently.
This is maybe a surface level criticism and is definitely subjective, so take it with a pinch of salt. I’m not a huge fan of the cover or size of the journal. If I were to see this on a shelf, personally, I probably wouldn’t stop to look at it. It’s bigger than a normal Bible and the cover is a bit old fashioned. In addition, there are sample pages that are clearly photocopies of personal notes which look a bit messy. I think that this resource would have done well to get a publisher behind it that wants to encourage sermon note taking.
- 6 day daily journal.
I understand the premise of this, the six day daily journal is there to help you delve more into God’s Word throughout the week. I worry though that it has the potential to turn into a legalistic practice for the Christian if they feel they MUST; 1) have a Bible reading every day (something I would encourage), 2) memorise a Bible verse a week, 3) follow a prayer diary. I think that each of these things are helpful tools for Christian to have and use. However, with a tick box, it can be very easy for them to become a legalistic ritual that must happen every day.
Those criticisms aside, I do think that this could be a helpful resource and would encourage you to check it out here on the designated website.