Polishing the pulpit  For building sermons today 


Looking for ways to post filing data 
and documentation eh?

by Ed Thomason

Documentation is always helpful when it comes to building a sermon file. Most of us that have been using a computer for awhileI usually post this data at the top right hand corner of our outlines for quick reference on both the paper and electronic copies.
1. DATE: Let's start with the date. It is helpful to know when you preached (or when you repeated) a sermon. 
If you ever need to dust off a sermon and rework it... it helps to know when it was preached. I always designate AM or PM at the end of the date. For example: [12 - 10 - '01 AM]. This tells me it was a morning sermon.
Also, I try to file my sermons in a black 1" notebook (purchased off the bottom shelf at Walmart for about $1.00.) If you go back at the end of the year and add a "sermon index" at the beginning of your notebook (listing titles and dates etc.), you will have a "neat" bound copy of each year's sermons. Add some plastic "stick on" white letters for the year's date on the edge of your notebook and "wow" you have an impressive well organized file that will make all your preacher friends jealous. 
But more importantly, such a file will give your hard earned sermons an "honorable" place to rest.
2. WHERE (This may be optional.) But for those of us who have "senior moments"' of forgetfulness more often than we like to admit, this may be a great help. This is true especially if you preach at many different locations. Sometimes we do forget "where" and "when" we preached a sermon. And lets face it, few things are more embarrassing than for someone to come up to you in the foyer and say, "You know brother Ed you preached that same sermon here in a meeting last year." Oops! 
3. SOURCE: Where did you get this sermon material?  (i.e., Is it original? Is it borrowed? If so who? If the idea was borrowed, make a note. This may help keep you humble when you realize that few things you preach are really original.)
4. CATEGORY: It may also be of help to note the category that the sermon might fall under. (Is it devotional? evangelistic? etc. see tips)
5. SERMON PLAN THEME: sp1- sp10
(go to list for explanation


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