Pastors for years have turned their sermons and teachings into books, articles, devotionals, and countless other written documents. You can do the same. You can reuse, retool, and recycle your sermon to use in various ways. Consider the Sunday sermon as the hub of the wheel. From it flows, several spokes that provide various writing outlets for you to extend your ministry. Let’s examine a few of these.
1. A Blog.
A blog has become very common today. No longer do you have to pitch your ides to a legacy media, sit around for a reporter to call you for an interview, or send out your own press releases. You have something to say and blogs give you a direct communication channel.
Sermons provide great content for a blog.
Here are a few suggestions. Make it good. Write from the heart. Be insanely useful. Keep the reader in mind. Give them a reason to come back. Write catchy headlines.
I have emailed a weekly devotional for many years. The devotional thought is intended to encourage and uplift the reader. It also provides an invite to our church’s Sunday worship services, informing the readers of what is happening this coming Sunday.
In addition, I write devotionals for various publications. Usually, I’m assigned to write three to six devotionals at a time. The first place I go for these devotionals are sermons already preached. Obviously, they have to be formatted and written according to the publishers’ guidelines and style. But the bulk of the research and the writing have already been done in the sermon.
The sermon provides a great source for possible articles in various publications or online magazines. While a sermon is not an article, it can, with retooling and tweaking, become an effective article. Remember to always follow the publishers’ guidelines. These can be found at the publisher’s website.
If you want to break into article writing, I would suggest that you study the latest Christian Writer’s Market Guide.
In addition, I write for various local publications from the local newspaper, a senior’s magazine, and Christian newspaper. Most all of these articles originated from a sermon.
The New York Times reported that 81% of people believe they have a book inside of them. Pastors have a lot of books inside them. Or, at least, we have written a lot of sermons that possibly can become the fodder for a potential book.
Obviously, many pastors have turned their sermons into books. Most books don’t become best sellers.
Be that as it may, and with no intent to discourage or dissuade you from book publishing, the next earth-shattering, life-changing book may be bouncing around in your head.
5. Sermon Sites
Various online sermon sites or preaching journals is another outlet for your sermons. Obviously, you can post your sermon at various online sermon sites for free. I have written for various preaching resources, providing sermon summaries, extended sermon outlines, or complete sermon manuscripts. Sometimes editors want sermons on certain texts. If so, I check my sermon database to see if I have something on that text. If so, and it fits, I will revise the sermon per their guidelines. If not, then I will prepare the manuscript or outline, and add this sermon to my future sermon plan. It is a win-win for me.
Sermons provide a wealth of information, research, stories, and truths that can be used in other places if revised, retooled, and redone. Consider what works best for you to extend your ministry through writing.
For additional information to help you extend your ministry through writing I have written a resource called Writing for Prophets to help you in this venture. You can access that resource at Writing for Prophets.