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Repurposing Sermons

The average pastor spends roughly ten hours a week preparing a message for Sunday morning. The culmination of that work goes into a 35-minute sermon, and then what?  Maybe it goes on a church website, and that’s as far it goes. 

(Curious about how long the average sermon is from several well-known pastors? That information is here.)

It is a disservice to the church and the community when we don’t re-purpose sermon content and leverage it throughout the week. 

Through social media and podcasts, you can use sermon micro-content (highlights and soundbites from the sermon) to remind your congregation of God’s promises daily.

Continue to Put Your Sunday Message in Front of Your People

When you re-purpose messages, they not only stay in front of your church but reach a larger audience that needs to hear what you have to share.

You can re-purpose messages in a variety of ways.

All of these will allow your message to live well beyond 35 minutes on Sunday morning, and also get your message in front of more people.

Shifting Your Message from Physical to Digital

There has been a seismic shift in our culture from physical to digital, and many churches continue to preach as if our culture has not gone through that shift. 

In today’s culture, you are missing a massive opportunity if you are not taking the message from a physical setting and converting it to the digital setting where your people already are.

Yes, it is important to gather together in person and hear the presentation of the gospel, but people are online and on social media every day, not just one day a week. 

You can reach out, connect, and remind your church of what they learned on Sunday by using sermons for social media content. Share quotes from the message or take the stories shared in your sermon and post them as soundbites or highlight reels throughout the week. 

By having a presence where people already are, you have the opportunity to remind them of the gospel and God’s word in ways they can easily relate to and understand.

Think of classic sermons from hundreds of years ago, such as Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. We have access to those sermons because pastors used the technology of their day to spread their message to more people. 

Write a Short Synopsis of Your Sermon, Including a Title

Immediately after you finish crafting your sermon, write a short synopsis (1-2 paragraphs,  5 – 7 sentences each) to describe your message. Be sure to include:

  • A clear title 
  • A description of your message 
  • The big idea, 
  • Any tensions you are addressing 
  • Intrigue that makes people want to learn more. 

Now you have ready-to-go content that can be used for your website, social media, podcasts, or your sermon description on YouTube.

As you are writing your synopsis, think about what words or questions people might search online that your sermon addresses.  For example, “Did the resurrection of Jesus really happen?”  Be thinking through the mind of someone who didn’t grow up in church. What are the questions they have? Take those search words and questions and work them into your paragraphs so Google can match their questions with your sermon.

Write Chapter Markers

If you publish your full sermon on YouTube, write chapter markers that break your message into  sections so people can quickly move forward and backward.

What do we mean by chapter markers? If you click here you will launch our episode on creating sermon micro content. Scroll down into the description and you’ll see we have typed out time stamps for each section of the episode.

Screenshot, Chapter Markers for Sermon Content on YouTube
When you use YouTube for your sermons, create chapter markers identifying each section of your sermon for more search results and to make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for.

When you do this for your sermons on YouTube, it makes it easier for people to scan your message to find the section they’re looking for. 

Not only that, YouTube will be able to present specific chapter markers in search results, effectively granting your video more possible rankings in YouTube searches.

Basically, you’re giving YouTube a greater selection of options for search results.

You will have plenty of people from your church who will want to go back and listen to a specific section of your message. Chapter markers will help them find it. 

More than that, chapter markers will help people who are searching for specific answers to big faith questions find your videos and that opens the door for God to move beyond the Sunday pulpit.

Break up Your Sermon Video and Audio into Short Clips

People are watching reels on Facebook and shorts on YouTube, so create 10 to 60-second clips of your sermon and repurpose it into how people expect to receive content on the platforms they are on. 

Graphics and Artwork

Pull sermon quotes or use your big idea to create eye-catching and shareable graphics for Facebook and Instagram posts. High-quality graphics are an easy way to keep your message in front of your church throughout the week. It also allows them to easily share what they learned or found inspirational in your message with others.

Prepare Questions for Small Group Discussions

If you are talking about it on Sunday morning, why not discuss it in small groups during the week?

Take your hard work and create sermon-based small group content, helping people to dig in deeper while reinforcing the message throughout the rest of the week. Use the main scripture passage and the big idea to help them unpack how to apply the principles of your message to their daily lives. 

Have Your Message Transcribed

Services like Rev.com will transcribe your entire sermon. Simply input the URL of your sermon, and a person will transcribe your message and send you a word-for-word typed document. 

You can send that document to a volunteer or an assistant who can easily highlight, cut, paste, and use the content for social media posts. 

Screenshot, Rev.com for transcribing sermons
You can have your entire sermon transcribed with Rev.com and use these transcriptions on your website or as the starting point for creating a book out of your sermon series.

Choose Sermon Content for Use on Sermon Slides and Social Media

When writing your sermon, mark or highlight the specific portions of your sermon that need sermon slides or should be used for social media. Then, send that to your tech and communications teams or volunteers to clearly and easily identify the content you want to highlight.

Final Thoughts

“By shifting our thinking about what the sermon is and how it can be used, we can extend the life of our sermons by repurposing the content to be used and heard more than once.” – The Digital Pulpit, Justin Trapp

Your time is valuable. You can carefully steward the time you put into crafting a sermon by leveraging it to its fullest potential by repurposing it throughout the week on multiple platforms.

How to Use Your Sermons After Preaching On Sunday

Chapter Markers

0:00 Welcome to Hello Church!
3:10 Following up on Your Message
6:48 Continue to Put Your Message in Front of Your People
– link The Digital Pulpit hellochurchpodcast.com/digital
10:51 Write a Short Synopsis of Your Sermon Including a Title
13:31 Write Chapter Markers
15:01 Break up Your Sermon Video and Audio into Short Clips
16:54 Prepare Questions for Small Group Discussions
17:40 Have Your Message Transcribed
18:43 Choose Sermon Content for Use on Sermon Slides and Social Media
19:41 Final Thoughts
20:22 Our Next Podcast Topic

Resources Mentioned

For more information on how to take your message to the digital world, download the free e-book, The Digital Pulpit, by Justin Trapp. 

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