Category: Blog

Sermon Prep for the Missional Church #6: Develop

TURN-YOUR-IDEAS-770x385Part six of my soon to be finished series on sermon prep for missional church planters was published last week on the V3 Movement blog. This one focuses on the process of putting a sermon outline together:

Perhaps the most varied response out of all of my interviews is to some form of the question: “How do you put your sermon together?” Some follow a particular structure, some don’t — many seem to have not even considered the question until I ask it. Somehow, it just happens. You, too, may not be able to describe how your sermon goes from myriad ideas to a coherent thought, but here are some thoughts and tools to assist in the process.

Read the whole thing here: Develop Your Ideas into Sermons for the Missional Church>>

Howard-John Wesley Talks About Sermon Prep (with someone else!) has recently starting a podcast asking how different people do their work. It’s kind of like Sermonsmith for other careers. Except when they interview a preacher, and then it’s almost exactly kind of like SermonSmith. A few weeks ago, they interviewed Rev Dr. Howard-John Wesley:

On this episode of Working, David Plotz talks with the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley about how a pastor prepares a sermon and why he creates personal boundaries between himself and his congregation.

I’ve had Rev Dr. Wesley on my list of potential interviews for quite some time, but it looks like they’ve already done the job for me.

Find it here: Slate Working: The “How Does a Pastor Work?” Edition

Logos 6 Has Arrived: Get it for 15% Off

300x250Logos 6 was released earlier this week. So far, I’ve only updated to the new software without some of the new functionality, but it’s a nice upgrade. Some of the new features look great.

The good news is, SermonSmith still has a partnership with Logos and a coupon code worth 15% off any starter package. A new release is a good time to get started. Follow the link below to our special subpage at Logos to get the coupon code.

Get 15% off any Logos starter package

Sermon Prep for the Missional Church Planter #5: Study

2307832283_9fbdd4bc79_z-e1411348649603Part 5 of my series on Sermon Prep for the Missional Church Planter was published this past week on the V3 Movement blog. It focuses on studying the text:

But, of course, there is a time when we have to settle in and do the hard work of engaging the Scriptures to be preached. To get all proverbial, much of what we’ve talked about so far is the inspiration bit, but there is also the perspiration part. Even a busy missional church planter will need hours set aside to allow the Spirit and text to form a sermon that will, in turn, form a people.

Read the rest here: How to Be a Busy Church Planter and Still Study the Bible >>

Webinar: Streamline Your Sermon Prep With Logos Workspaces

Snap 2014-09-24 at 10.37.41, 710x398If you are a Logos user, or interested in how Logos works, their occasional webinars are very helpful. Yesterday’s webinar was all about using custom workspaces within Logos for different phases of study.

An archived recording is below. (Or find it here if the embedded video won’t work for you.)

I learned several nuances that I’m putting into practice for my sermon this week! If you’re not using Bible software, this will give you an idea why many find it so helpful.

As a reminder: I’ve partnered with Logos as a way for you to support the podcast and get a 15% discount on any base package. You can find a coupon code and get started at

Sermon Prep for the Missional Church Planter #4: Capture

The latest in my ongoing series on Sermon Prep for the Missional Church Planter is on the need to have reliable ways to capture ideas:

Maybe only about half of the content in my sermons come out of my allotted prep and study time. I could even put it this way — time set aside for study and research leads to some degree of understanding of the meaning of a passage. But putting together why a passage matters to the church today seems to come when I’m doing just about anything other than study.

Read the rest here: Don’t Lose Those Brilliant Shower Ideas >>

A Thousand Questions to Ask the Text

thousand-questionsOne of the common search terms and Twitter questions I get is people trying to track down A Thousand Questions to Ask the Text.

This was a document mentioned by Steve Carter in our second interview ever. It’s one that dates back to his days as a teaching intern with Rob Bell at Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, and it’s a helpful resource for kickstarting study and development of a sermon outline.

This is one of a number of helpful documents that have been mentioned in our interviews so far. I’ve recently created a Document Library page as a quick reference for all of these documents. It will be updated as new documents are shared in our interview notes.

Sketchnote Preaching, You Say?

Screen-Shot-2014-07-22-at-9.03.56-AMOver at The Antioch Session, you’ll find this interesting post about how C. Wess Daniels has discovered the value of using Sketchnotes as his primary method for outlining his sermon:

This process of learning to incorporate visual note-taking and sketches into my workflow has helped me immensely in my writing and preaching. For more than a year I have been sketchnoting almost all of my sermons, which has not only helped me immensely but energized my preaching.

Read the rest: Learning the Art of Sketchnote Preaching >>

Have you seen MacSparky’s Presentations Field Guide?

macparky_presentationsPrevious Sermonsmith guest, David Sparks, has published another MacSparky Field Guide on Presentations. While they’re all great, this one is most relevant to all of us preacher types.

Thanks to David, I have several copies to give away. Interested? Here’s four ways you can enter:
1) Leave a comment below
2) Let me know on Twitter by sending a tweet.
3) Retweet this tweet.
4) Share this post on Facebook.

I’ll select the winners next Sunday evening, August 10.