In my last post I told you your sermon was overrated, and to my surprise, many of you actually agreed.
It just doesn’t make sense to spend 15-20+ hours a week on a 45 minute sermon that most of your congregation is going to forget by Tuesday.
Instead, let’s try to prepare a really good sermon in a reasonable amount of time, and then use the extra time during the week to do the things that people will remember.
That was last week’s message.
Today, I want us to look at a few ways we can utilize that sermon beyond Sunday morning, so that we’re getting more value from that sermon prep time, and we’re helping our congregation remember it well past Sunday.
1. Social Media Posts – This should be an obvious one, but I’m constantly surprised by the lack of social media involvement of small town churches and pastors. Facebook is the new town square, you should make it a habit of visiting, posting, and interacting. That’s an entire post in itself, for this post, you could pick one or two quotes or points from your sermon to post to your social media during the following week. It’s even better if these quotes are posted with photos of you preaching the message.
2. Small Group/Sunday School Content – People will have a much easier time remembering your sermon if they’re discussing it with a smaller group of friends. For each sermon you prepare, you could also prepare a short list of questions based on the sermon to be used in small groups or Sunday School. This is also a great way for people to learn how they can apply the sermon to their daily lives.
3. Blog/Podcast Content – Different people tend to prefer digesting content in different ways. For me, I would prefer to read a blog over listening to a podcast, others would be right the opposite. Either way, there’s an audience for both. You already have the content, why not deliver it in a different format? You could start a blog with summaries of your sermons. Or, you could start a podcast asking those small group questions to someone from your church. Or, what if you used a blog or podcast to discuss the content that didn’t make it into your sermon for whatever reason.
4. Youtube Content – I could’ve included this in with the blog/podcast discussion, but I really think this deserves it’s own spot. Here’s why, I believe pastors can learn a ton from starting their own Youtube channel. You learn how to become a better communicator by watching yourself. You learn how to reach an online audience. You learn what works with video online. And, Youtube is the place where the next generation hangs out. So, maybe you learn a few things about reaching kids and students. Again, repackage your sermon content, and find unique ways to talk about your message. Also, in case you’re worried, it’s super easy to start your own channel, you can actually just go to Youtube and search start your own channel to find out how easy it is.
5. Save for Later – How many sermons are you preaching a year? I’m guessing at least 40 or more if you’re the lead pastor. That means in the span of 3 years, you’ll preach well over 100 sermons. Chances are you’re going to be preaching some of the same stories and ideas, year after year. Which means, you need to be saving your sermons. That way the next time you preach about the Prodigal Son, you don’t have to start from scratch. You probably don’t want to preach the same exact message you did the year before, but to be honest you probably could and no one would notice. So, find a good program that helps you keep track of your old sermons and gives you the ability to search for them. I know many pastors use Evernote just for this reason.
Those are just a few ideas on how you can stretch your sermon further. I’d love to hear yours as well. Visit my Facebook page, and let me know what you’re doing to make your sermon memorable.