Preaching Articles

Never waste a good sermon, especially after you’ve spent so much time preparing it! Thom Rainer recently wrote that more time in sermon preparation usually means a more effectively evangelistic church. If you’re one of those who spends 15 hours or more on a message, it must stink to realize that all you can squeeze out of all that work is 38 minutes of preaching on the weekend. So why not stretch it further?

In the world of blogging and social media, you can do just that, and here are some suggestions for how:

1. Blog your points, one at a time. A full sermon transcript or manuscript is probably too long for a blog post, but one point with its explanation is just the right size. So if you’re presenting three or four major truths this Sunday, write three or four corresponding blog posts during the following week.

2. Post memorable quotes from the message. Every good message needs to have single sentences within it that really drive home the truth of Scripture. If those sentences can be written in 140 characters or less, send them out on Twitter, and you get even a little more room on Facebook.

3. Post the video on YouTube and Vimeo, either in chunks or as a whole. And there are advantages to five-minute clips and advantages to full-length sermons. Either way, spread them around.

4. Use the audio for a podcast. One of my new favorite tools is SoundCloud, which has some great features for audio-blogging and podcasting including a nice embeddable media player, and since its HTML5-powered people can listen on mobile phones.

5. Write a small group study guide based on the message. What do you do with all the material you chop off before the presentation? Turn it into a “digging deeper” study and distribute it to small group leaders.

6. Create eBooks from whole sermon series. This idea is gold! Create a nicely-designed pdf ebook for distribution through your website, Facebook, and even the Amazon Kindle store and other outlets. It’s bigger than the bite-sized blog but not quite the overwhelming size of a full book.

The gospel is the greatest content on the planet, and we pastors write and say a lot of words about it every week. It’s a shame for that knowledge to go to waste. Utilize modern technology and social distribution points to extend the message and fill every conversational space with the truth and glory of God!

How and where do you re-purpose your message content?

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Chris Linzey

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Excellent suggestions!

Debra L. Mason

commented on Jun 14, 2013

These are great ideas! My mind is spinning.

William Douglas Johnson, Sr

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I came across a quote by Barclay this week, and it fits the Father's Day quite well. "One of the saddest and most tragic of all situations is that which arises when a young person comes back to a parent or a teacher with life in ruins, and says, "I would never have been in this mess, if you had only told me what you ought to have told me." That is the one regret which can be avoided. We must be the kind of father who will speak up. And warn them. Because we love them, we must speak.

Keith E Feisel

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Great ideas, if time will permit them. I wonder if the responsibility for this can even be delegated to someone you're mentoring.... I remember, much to my dismay, numerous sermons that were preached in a church that didn't even record their messages when I was there.

Peter Thomas

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Create Personal Study Plans! A PSP is a one page outline weaving together old sermons, home group notes, web pages, further Bible readings and questions to think about and discuss. Stick the outline and all the relevant documents in one folder on a CD or online. Create a dozen or twenty PSPs all on one CD and you have all the resources for a home Bible School for individual study or Home Group discussions. My current PSP CD contains thirty outlines with around 300 sermons and questions from a couple of hundred Home Group studies. Titles include Gifts of the Spirit, The Last Things, Praying the Prayer of St Francis, What Christians Believe, The Moral Maze, Listening to God, The Sermon on the Mount, Discipleship, Everyday Christian Living, Belonging to the Church, Hard Questions, Spiritual Warfare, Evangelism in the Early Church, Understanding the Bible. In a growing church, PSPs are a great way to let new members enjoy the sermons you preached before they came along, and remind others of what you said a few years ago.

Derrick Tuper

commented on Jun 18, 2013

Good stuff. I like the e-book idea. Regarding your idea about the small group study, what I do with my leftover material is incorporate it into the Sunday school lesson along with our mid-week study if necessary. We have our Sunday school after the regular service which allows us to go deeper with the sermon material. It's perfect for using what couldn't be used in the sermon.

Brandon H

commented on Jun 19, 2013

Great ideas. I actually wrote a whole series of ideas on how to extend the life of a sermon on my blog if anyone is interested.

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