Better Bible Study
1/9/13 at 10:54 AM 0 Comments

Saturday Night Strive: Building an Emergency Sermon

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Author: Brandon Rappuhn, Logos Bible Software

If you're pastor and you're human, I know you've been in a similar crisis.

It’s Saturday night, and your preaching pastor or Sunday school teacher is sick / has a family emergency / is on a plane to Hawaii. And now you’re suddenly teaching in the morning. What do you do?

I’m going to show you how to build a memorable, powerful sermon with Logos 5’s new Sermon Starter Guide. Hopefully this will shave hours off your prep time—hours that you can spend with your family or give to other ministries in your church.

Let’s build a sermon on Philippians 2:1–4.

I’ll start by typing in Php 2:1–4 in the Sermon Starter Guide search bar:

Logos automatically recognizes that the core message of this passage is humility... a good place to begin. As soon as I hit enter, Logos 5 populates my list with thematic outlines and topics that I can click on to explore things like humility, encouragement, or pride.

Logos 5′s thematic outlines are particularly time-saving in the sermon-building process. They provide lists of cross-references, set up in bullet-point outlines of particular themes you may want to treat in your sermon. If you’ve found one that you’d like to use as a foundation, export it to your word processor—Word, OpenOffice, etc.—or, if you want to show it off to your church or group, put it straight into a presentation program like Proclaim.

I want to focus on “Christlikeness” as my core message, so I’ll pick that outline. Once I’ve exported it to my word processor, I can delete points or add my own.

My sermon now looks like an outline of Bible verses summarized with headers. While it would be great to simply read the Bible to my audience, I think it might be helpful to look up other quotations, sermons, and stories that relate to becoming like Christ. Further down in the Sermon Starter Guide is a section called “Illustrations,” which has its own section on Christlikeness. I find some quotes I like in Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes, namely from Charles Spurgeon, which leads me to Spurgeon’s sermon “Christ’s People—Imitators of Him.”

The Sermon Starter Guide has given me several threads to explore, with dozens of resources I can pull into my sermon to help me explain the passage to my group. Whether I want to make my sermon more conversational for a general audience or more exegetical for an informed audience, I can easily follow these threads deeper and deeper until my sermon has the substance and strong points I want, all guided by a single theme.

Every step of the sermon-building process in Logos 5 has been designed to give you substance and save you time. In less than 20 minutes, you can have an outline supported by a dozen or more Scripture passages and guided by a single theme. You can be well on your way into researching illustrations, stories, and visualizations to make your sermon come alive.

Sermon Starter is available in Logos 5 base packages, starting with Bronze. Those with Logos 4 or lower can upgrade their base packages to get this Bible study tool.

This blog was originally posted on LogosTalk.com and can be read in its entirety here.

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