Home‎ > ‎IsbellOnline News‎ > ‎

Sermon Supplements - worth a try

posted Jun 25, 2011, 9:36 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Jun 25, 2011, 10:23 AM ]
Here's an idea I am using for the first time this summer in Monterey Living Hope Nazarene Church.   It's a concept that can work for any pastor in their home church, too. 

As I preach in different places I often wish I could provide a handout or put something specific in the worship folder.  But this is usually impractical, especially as a visiting preacher.  So I'm trying a new approach; I generate a webpage on my own site of supplemental material for each church I visit.  Then I simply point the congregation to their supplement webpage.  If the church has its own website, the webmaster can link from their site to their page on my site.  In addition, this web-based approach saves a lot of paper as well as the messiness of handing out papers in the service that rattle around for the rest of the hour.  And this approach offers a way to provide material that people can easily browse as superficially or as deep as they want.

This web-based supplement is much more timely in that I can work on a sermon up to an hour or two before leaving home and still get the changes into the supplement. And when something arises in the worship service that prompts me to want to change or add to the supplement, I can go online and do it within an hour so that by the time the parishioners look at the site it's already there.  I did this the first time I used it in Monterey.  During the worship music the Lord prompted me with something to use as a "teachable moment" before prayer.  It carried as a little thread through the entire worship service.  Shortly after the service I went online and added it to that day's supplement, because it was precisely the thing I knew the Lord wanted people to carry with them all week.  If you are curious, it was, "God is in control, despite all appearances to the contrary.  This is what we believe.  This is what we have seen.  This is what we have to share with our world."

For an example of this sort of supplemental webpage,  click on the Monterey Living Hope supplement.  At first I figured only the "content junkies" might be interested, but the response after a few weeks is more encouraging. 

Since these supplements are available to anyone browsing my site, anyone thinking about inviting me can look at these to get a feel for what God's ministry looks like when it comes through me.  And, of course, you can always contact the churches I've visited directly.  To find a list of these, just click on the Calendar link on my site and use the Agenda display option.