MCCRORY, Ark. (BNc) — Working ministers must craft approximately 104 sermons, 52 Bible classes, and often 52 Wednesday night devotionals, all while tending to personal Bible studies, home and hospital visits, funerals, weddings, and other happenings that crop up. It can be a challenge at times to keep sermons fresh.
One minister and publisher has designed a subscription-only digital publication called SermonTree.com to help preachers stay energized. The magazine offers a monthly downloadable, printable digest of sermon outlines, sermon seeds, illustrations, humor, and short devotional talks to inspire study and preaching for an entire month.
“In the best case scenario, preachers have a few sermons prepared well ahead of time in case of emergency, but the best case scenario often doesn’t match up with reality,” said SermonTree.com publisher Matt Clifton, who also publishes the Bulletin Digest. “And sometimes our preaching just gets a little stale, and we need some outside perspective on preaching and teaching to invigorate our own studies.”
That’s where SermonTree.com comes in. The digital magazine features 10 to 12 sermon outlines each month, varying in detail.
Preachers can take these outlines and develop their own lessons, use them as-is, or simply use them as a jumping-off point for personal studies and Bible classes. Most of the outlines contain appropriate illustrations, and each sermon also has a list of song suggestions to go with the lesson. The outlines are also offered in an “organic outline” format for ease of reading and adaptation to the preacher’s own use.
“Plus, if you find yourself having to get a devotional talk together at the last minute, SermonTree.com also has “sermon seeds,” which are very brief outlines from which to develop your own lessons, and short devotional talks that would be appropriate for Wednesday night use,” Clifton said.
Those interested in seeing this concept in action can visit SermonTree.com and download a free sample issue.
With various sermon outlines available from a variety of sources on the internet, one might wonder why a subscription service like SermonTree.com is needed.
“Most of the outlines you find on the internet are the same ones you’ve been using for years,” Clifton commented. “SermonTree.com offers fresh material each month. And it’s not just outlines. We offer a complete toolbox for the working preacher to help craft powerful Biblical sermons, all from writers with a biblical understanding of the church and salvation.”
SermonTree.com also has feature stories on evangelism techniques, topics of interest for preachers, book reviews, and more.
An innovative approach to its sermon outlines is the use of an organic style in organization, rather than the usual numerical-alphabetical outline.
Who writes the material in SermonTree.com? Clifton, who preaches for the church of Christ at McCrory, Ark., develops most of the sermons in the magazine, but also accepts and publishes sermon outlines and articles from other preachers.
“We’ve had several great sermons and articles contributed by other brethren, and we’d like to have more sermon outlines and stories on successful evangelism techniques submitted to us for publication in the future,” he said. “The goal for SermonTree.com is to have a publication that prints the very best original sermon outlines of preachers of the church of Christ.”
If you are a preacher and would like to submit an article or sermon outline for publication, please contact SermonTree.com by using the form on the “About” page at the website.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us