Proof positive that you shouldn't take notes in church:
I was sitting by my daughter, Eden, last week in church, and she pulled this out of the hymnal in front of us:
Yes, that's right. . . on June 5th, 2011, a sermon outline (fully filled out and notated) from September 21st 2008 was found, stuffed in a hymnal, in our worship center. Wow, I'm sure glad all those notes were taken, I bet that sermon really changed his life (come on, that has to be a man's handwriting). He obviously hasn't needed those great insights on his outline for these last 3 years.
Now, I know that some of you listen by taking notes. . . and I think that's great. I just think there's a way to take notes to try and get everything down and make additions "so you'll remember later" (boo). . . . and there's a way to jot things down to process your current thoughts. (yeahee)
See, sermons (and singing together as the church) are things that happen in a moment. It's a real thing, it's really happening. We all need to be in those moments together and present there as the Church. Tim Keller says we should preach to "change someone on the spot". I think that's true. We should be changed, even in little ways, every time we hear God's Word. Perhaps the change is as simple as quieting your heart from a busy week and remembering that God has saved you. That's an important "change" that we should be present for, as we worship together.
So, take notes if you must, to help you listen. . but don't fill in all your blanks, write down all the points, and forget to listen to the Holy Spirit while you're in church. Basically, don't do what this guy did (and then leave your outline from 3 years ago in the hymnal).