Do you sometimes have a tough time organizing your thoughts when preparing sermons? Let me tell you about Sermonary! Sermonary is a sermon writing tool which helps organize your thoughts, provide with sermon resources, and organize your sermons so you can find them in one location at any time.
Sermonary uses blocks to help you organize your thoughts. Each sermon is divided into six distinct categories: Bible verse, point, illustration, application, quote, and custom. These blocks help you focus on one area of your sermon at a time, instead of 3 or 4 different areas of your sermon all at once.
The Bible verse block lets you import a Bible verse into your sermon. Presently, there is only one translation available, the Christian Standard Bible, but I am sure there will be more to be added soon.
The point block is where you insert one of your big sermon points. The cool thing about this is when you print out your sermon or view it from your browser when preaching, each point is much larger than the rest of the blocks so you won’t miss it.
The illustration blocks are some of my favorite, because Sermonary has their own list of illustrations and stories which you can add to your library. That way anytime you want to use one of their illustrations, you can import it right into your sermon. No more typing it all out! If you have your own illustration, you can type yours in too.
Next is the application and custom blocks. These blocks are almost identical. In the application block, you can type in your sermon application just like if you were in a word document. The custom block is where the meat of the sermon will be. It has an option for a title and a place where you can type in the bulk of your message.
The last block available to you is the quote block. If you want to add a quote to enhance your message, this is the block for you. It has a text box for your quote as well as a section on the bottom to place the source, so you never forget where it came from.
Along with blocks, Sermonary also provides templates. You can use one of their templates or create your own, so you never have to hit the create a block button. There are six templates available to use right away:
● The 3-point template—focusing on your classic 3-point sermon.
● The ME-WE-GOD-YOU-WE template—modeled after Andy Stanley’s style of preaching.
● The verse by verse running commentary template—for writing a sermon or Bible study
whichlooks at scripture verse by verse.
● The defender’s outline template which has a more apologetic approach.
● Lastly, there is the children’s leader template and youth pastor template, for when you need
to alter your sermon for a much younger audience.
Once you have finished writing your message, it will be stored in the Sermonary Cloud. You can access it anywhere you have an internet connection. When it comes time to preach, there are two ways you can access your sermon. You can either print it out or use podium mode. Podium mode is great! In fact, I used it this past Sabbath and loved it! When you use podium mode on any device, the entire sermon will be on your screen and instead of swiping left and right to get to the next block, you scroll up and down. You only see one or two blocks at a time which is great because that is all you need to see at any given moment. Podium mode also has a clock or timer option at the top of the screen, that way any time you look down to see your blocks you can see what time it is and how many minutes past 12:00 you’ve gone. Pro tip: You can also look at your audience—if they look antsy or if they keep tapping their watches, you’ve probably gone past 12:00.
Sermonary offers a free 30-day trial by signing up on their website, and after the trial, you will have to pay $9.00 a month for the service. If you don’t want to pay for the monthly subscription to the service, I would suggest writing your sermons in blocks either in word or your favorite writing program.
Sermonary has become my main sermon writing tool. I have noticed my sermons were more structured and a bit clearer when using Sermonary than writing my messages on a word document. If you already have a system, you may not need to retool your sermon writing process, but if you are looking for a way to restructure and organize your thoughts while writing a sermon, try it out. Sermonary has been a blessing to me and I know it will be a blessing to you.
Dominick Alipoon is the pastor for four congregations in Oklahoma: Alva, Woodward, Chattuck, and Cherokee Adventist Fellowship