While preaching the Gospel is the main focus of most senior pastors, you have much more on your to-do list than crafting a sermon for Sunday services. From leading a church staff to meetings with the church board and more, pastors certainly don’t just work on Sundays. Developing an impactful message (or two) per week isn’t an easy endeavor. Thankfully, there are several sermon preparation software options available to help you more efficiently and effectively craft your messages.
What are the benefits of using an online tool as part of your sermon preparation process?
Quick Access to Research
Finding the right illustration that connects with your congregation or locating additional verses that tie into the main passage can become a time-consuming endeavor. After all, you want to deliver messages that effectively capture people’s attention, point them to Christ, and inspire them to change. As Charles Spurgeon stated, “No reason exists why the preaching of the gospel should be a miserable operation either to the speaker or to the hearer. Pleasantly profitable let all our sermons be.”
Fortunately, many sermon preparation tools include a searchable library of sermon illustrations, commentaries, and even sermon outlines. With these tools, you can quickly find Scripture passages, commentaries about those verses, ideas for sermon topics, and more.
Once you’ve landed on a topic and start developing an outline, save time and mental energy when you designate a single platform for all information about a particular message or series. Rather than a Word document on your computer, a sketched outline on a whiteboard, and a myriad of quotes or stories filed elsewhere, you can collect all of this in a single location that’s easily accessible.
Sometimes inspiration strikes when you’re not at the office. You might be waiting in line at the store and get an idea. Or while you were getting the kids to bed, something about bedtime prayers reminded you of a verse to include in your sermon. In these moments, you could quickly pull out your phone and make a few notes in your sermon prep tool or app.
Whether you prefer to preach using a topical, textual, or expository method, sermon preparation software can save you time as you seek to effectively communicate God’s Word.
Craft your sermons more efficiently when you choose one of the 4 top sermon preparation software options available:
#1 – Logos Sermon Builder
Part of Logos, Sermon Builder enables users to bring content over from their Logos resources into a message. Sermon Builder automatically recognizes Scripture references and will insert the full text into the message based on the reference. If you need slides for the main screen during a service, Sermon Builder generates slides based on your main headings. You can add and customize slides as well. Additionally, Sermon Builder includes a Sermon Starter Guide complete with outlines to use as you develop your message. Sermon Builder includes the option to enter Preaching Mode that you can use to preach from a mobile device.
Price: Included with Logos 9 packages starting at $999.99
#2 – Faithlife Sermons
Faithlife Sermons includes a searchable library of topical sermon outlines, illustrations, images and graphics. Another valuable component is the ability to search for examples of sermons on a particular passage, topic, or keyword. Users can also search the library by seasonal events and the upcoming lectionary. This tool integrates with other Faithlife products like the Logos Sermon Builder, Faithlife Proclaim, and others.
Price: $19.99/month for individuals or $29.99/month for a church team
#3 – Sermonary
Sermonary is an online sermon editor that includes a library of templates, illustration ideas, commentaries, and artwork. Users can save sermon topic ideas in the Ideas Archive, include notes and prompts in a sermon to use when preaching, share notes with team members, and generate sermon slides for ProPresenter or PowerPoint. It also includes a podium mode, enabling ministers to preach from a tablet or smartphone.
Price: $19 per month or $199 per year
#3 – Ministry Pass
Created by the people behind Sermonary, Ministry Pass includes tools to help pastors plan an entire year’s worth of messages. The platform includes eye-catching graphics for promoting each message on social media and on the church’s website. Ministry Pass also contains sermon illustrations, bundles for making announcements (including slides, bulletin graphics, and additional graphic layouts), plus pre-service countdown videos.
Price: $69 per month or $649 per year (for the entire team)
#4 – Sermon Maker
Sermon Maker is an online sermon editor. Users can organize their personal sermon library, search for sermon topic ideas, and find stories or illustrations to accompany messages. Sermon Maker also includes the Sermon Analyzer, which provides metrics and analysis on your sermon.
Price: $12.50 per month (billed annually)
While none of these sermon preparation software options can replace the personal experience and insights of a particular pastor. But they can make a pastor’s work a bit easier. A tool that can shortcut the process of gathering research materials or illustrations, creating sermon slides and graphics, and more can be an incredible time-saver.