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Preaching Articles



SermonCentral and Accordance Bible Software make a great sermon prep and preaching combination. Sermons and other content from SermonCentral can be imported into Accordance User Tools and User Notes for sermon prep, live preaching, or archived for later reference.

Here's How to Build a User Tool

In the example below, note the hierarchical table of contents that follows the outline of the sermon. All Scripture in a User Tool can be automatically hyperlinked.

Basic Steps:

  • Find a sermon at SermonCentral.com and click the link to view the sermon on a single page (PRO feature).
  • Select the text and copy it to your clipboard.
  • In Accordance 11 for Windows or Mac, go to File: User Files: New User Tool.
  • Give your User Tool a title.
  • Then open the editing mode with the keyboard command Ctrl-U (Win) or Cmd-U (Mac).
  • Paste your text into the editing window and touch up any formatting issues that need adjusting.
  • Click on the Auto Link button () to convert all Scripture references to to hyperlinks.
  • Select the title of the sermon and click on the Link button () to create a hyperlink back to the SermonCentral webpage where the sermon originated.
  • Create a hierarchical table of contents by clicking left of any headings in the narrow gray margin on the left of the User Tool.
  • Use the Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) key when clicking to create submenus.


When your User Tool is formatted to your liking, click the Update button at the bottom right of the editing window, and your User Tool is ready to go. It is fully searchable and integrated into the rest of Accordance. This entire process should only take 5 to 10 minutes. If you want to make changes to the sermon User Tool later, simply go into edit mode again.

There is only one Scripture reference near the top in this screenshot, but all of them throughout the sermon are hyperlinked. The hyperlinked “SermonCentral.com” points to the original sermon on the website as can be seen in the Instant Details at the bottom of the screen. 

Over on the left side, I entered the basic outline of the sermon in the User notes. User notes are great for reminders of more detailed content elsewhere in Accordance, or you may want to preach directly from the outline in the User Note. The hyperlinked title at the top of the note points to the User Tool that I created. So, if I had only the biblical text and User Notes open, I could click on that link, and it would open my User Tool that contained the sermon.

And It Goes with You Where You Preach

In this screenshot from my iPad Pro, the entire sermon has been dropped into the User Note allowing anyone to preach from an outline or the entire sermon. All links described in the previous example apply here in iOS, too. 

 

File Ideas for Later

Here, User Notes are used to list messages from SermonCentral based on a particular passage. As shown in the Instant Details, the titles are hyperlinked to the original sermon on the SermonCentral website. 

 

But it doesn't end there! Here are some other ideas:

  • Keep multiple sermons or sermon series in the same User Tool, adding to them as needed.
  • Export jpeg or png files of individual PowerPoint or Keynote slides from your sermon and incorporate them into your User Tool at the point in the sermon in which they would be displayed.
  • Utilize User Notes for quick outlines of a sermon, linking back back to the full sermon in your User Tool.
  • Drop the entire sermon in your User Notes, sync to your iPad, and preach from Accordance Mobile using the biblical text in one pane and your sermon in the parallel pane.
  • List the titles of your favorite SermonCentral sermon titles on a particular biblical passage in your User Notes, hyperlinking them back to their respective webpages on SermonCentral. Then these sermons will always be listed next to a particular verse or passage of the Bible. 

Rick Mansfield is Technology Evangelist for Accordance Bible Software. He has a BA in English Education from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana, and an MDiv degree from the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is currently at dissertation stage for a PhD degree in New Testament Theology. Rick has taught Bible and philosophy classes for Indiana Wesleyan University since 2004. He lives with his wife, Kathy, in Simpsonville, Kentucky, where they are both active at Simpsonville Baptist Church.

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