Every week, pastors spend hours preparing their sermons to bring hope to their congregations. Many would-be attendees evaluate a church by first visiting the sermon archives to determine if they feel a connection with the church. Therefore, it’s vital to maintain a usable sermon archive on the church website. Thankfully, there are several WordPress sermon media plugins available to make this task fairly simple.
There are many tools available to help you manage and distribute sermon media on your WordPress website and I’ll share my top three recommendations. But before telling you about the best options, we need to talk about the sermon series.
Many churches make it a point to organize each sermon or set of sermons into a series. Some churches do so by topic, and others may go by a book of the Bible at a time. Other churches reject the idea of a series and instead preach verse by verse through a book or cover topics as needed. I’m not making a case for or against using a sermon series, but identifying how your church operates will be key in picking the right solution.
Recommended Sermon Media Plugins
#1 – Series Engine
Series Engine is the leading sermon management plugin for WordPress, and for good reason. Series Engine boasts a feature-packed plugin with a wide variety of ways to display sermons and series. The search functionality is above average and many different bells and whistles will aid in the way churches distribute sermon material. As an industry leader, Series Engine has a proven track record of solid support and continued development.
There are two reasons that Series Engine might not be right for you:
- Cost. Unlike the other two recommended sermon plugins, Series Engine does not have a free version. Subscriptions start at $99/year and go up from there depending on the number of licenses needed.
- Series Structure. If your church does not preach by series then you may find the Series Engine approach cumbersome and confusing. I recommend trying Advanced Sermons or Sermon Manager if your church does not utilize sermon series.
Series Engine also offers two companion plugins: Prayer Engine to manage prayer requests, and Groups Engine to manage small groups.
#2 – Advanced Sermons
Advanced Sermons was created two years ago by WP Codeus. It’s the new kid on the block, and with that comes some beautiful modern designs and layouts. While it can support a series based approach as you see in Series Engine, Advanced Sermons does a better job handling a more linear based sermon approach.
The free version of the plugin will give you all of the essentials and allow you to test the plugin. To access the additional features, you’ll need to purchase a subscription starting at $60/year.
Currently, over 700 churches use Advanced Sermons. It does a great job handling support requests on WordPress.org. I’m excited to see how this plugin continues to mature and develop.
#3 – Sermon Manager
Sermon Manager is a longtime favorite for many church media managers. It has gone through some rough times over the past few years and is now under new management. Sermon Manager also takes a more linear approach to sermons while also supporting grouping by series.
The free version of the plugin is available on WordPress.org and contains the core functionality for the plugin. Additional features and support can be obtained by upgrading to Pro which starts at $99/year.
If you’d like to learn more about Sermon Manager, consider joining their private Facebook group. You’ll find many active users there sharing suggestions and tips.
While not a WordPress plugin, many churches benefit from the integrated app and media platform that Subsplash provides. Subsplash can integrate with your WordPress website with a snippet allowing you to post your sermon archive anywhere on your site.
This is one of my favorite Sermon management plugins. The plugin is built well and is fairly easy to use and customize. The reason it is in the honorable mentions category is that it requires a compatible theme to function properly. If you are in the market for a new theme as well, be sure to check out the suite of solutions offered by the team at ChurchThemes.com.
The folks behind the Church Content Plugin are building a standalone sermon management plugin that will work with all WP themes. Keep an eye out for WP Sermons in the near future.
My team at Church Plugins is at the beginning stages of building a sermon manager plugin with a brand new approach to organization that will revolutionize the ability to filter and display sermon media. Sign up for updates on that plugin and more at ChurchPlugins.com.
As you can see, there are several quality solutions available to help you manage your sermon media. Take time to develop a sermon archive strategy and evaluate which solution is the best fit. Due diligence now will save you countless hours in the future.