Reaching Other Congregations Through Your Published Sermon

Filed in Author Inspirations by on October 27, 2014 1 Comment

Xulon Press, Pastor Appreciation MonthThe greatest reward to a pastor is knowing that the words of his/her sermon have impacted the congregation, primarily with their current relationship with Jesus Christ or if they seek to establish a relationship with their Savior.

Given these positive, life-changing responses to the sermon, it will then only be a matter of time before the thought arises of publishing the sermon (or sermon series) as a professional book.

The month of October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and what better way to commemorate the month than for our beloved pastors to impart their spoken words from God into published words.

As preparations are started for the sermon-turned-book, a few pieces of advice are important to be mindful of to encourage the same positive response from readers as from congregants hearing it live.

In terms of content, writing the book will encourage pastors to think more of the audience perusing their books, and the hope that it won’t just be their church members. As the pastor writes, it is necessary to remember that personal examples used in the sermon will need to be explained more thoroughly in the book.

Readers won’t know aspects about the pastor’s life or of the church history (typical examples in sermons), since they are not congregant members. So creating a brief synopsis of the example’s background will place readers and members at the same level of understanding.

Also, an issue that comes out frequently in manuscripts of sermons is the use of physical directions within the text (“Can I get an Amen,” or, “hold your Bibles up”). Although these actions suggested by the pastor are helpful in grabbing the attention of a congregation in person, it is not as captivating to readers who are reading—not watching—the sermon.

Now switching gears to punctuation marks, excessive use of exclamation points, question marks and ellipses can also be distracting to readers trying to understand the main concept of the book. The pastor should focus most on the words themselves, letting the words be the influencers among the readers instead of the punctuation.

Okay, the book is finished, but there is one area of content to check before moving forward with production. It is common for pastors to state popular culture items, such as name-brand items, celebrities and even popular sayings, in their sermons. Yet with publishing these items that are often trademarked, the author needs to check on legal permission information for these words or phrases and make the necessary inclusions to the text, such as the ® or ™ symbol, to prevent any issues.

These suggestions are only minor changes, but will greatly develop the influence of the sermon. The pastor can then focus on realizing the dream of becoming a published author and of affecting the lives of others not just in the congregation, but also around the world for the glory of God.


About the Author ()

Blair Townley joined the Xulon Press family as a Staff Editor in May 2013, helping first-time authors prepare their treasured manuscripts for publication. Prior to Xulon Press, she previously worked as a staff writer/editor for several Central Florida-based magazines over the past decade. What Blair enjoys most about writing and editing is getting to help others share their stories, helping others see themselves as the unique individuals God created them to be.

Comments (1)

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  1. avatar Mele says:

    I am soooo interested in becoming a writer but don’t know where to start. When I do my devotions I write down what I believe the Holy Spirit impressed in my spirit. Reading this articles, encouraged me to chat with you on it. What should I do?

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