We’re seeing spiritual formation shifting more than ever to increase at-home and on-demand needs and preferences. Keeping up with the digital age (and bearing in mind how unpredictable our world has proven to be) will only grow your reach to more people… especially those seeking spiritual encouragement and inspiration to live out their faith.
You can provide more opportunities for your congregation to grow by turning your sermon series into devotionals and using a book of the Bible as your theme is a perfect way to start.
Help Your People Grow in Their Faith with Bible Book Devotionals
It’s common for a Christian to have a Bible and perhaps even some devotionals or Christian books. But just like any discipline, it’s difficult to make daily readings a consistent habit — even more so these past few months as everything has been tipped upside down.
It has thrown routines off. Churches are meeting online. It’s easy for all of us to get distracted with the changing news and all that’s going on. Yet, amid all this, one thing has stayed the same, if not increased.
Online engagement and connection. It’s our go-to now more than ever. So, as a pastor of a church, your digital presence matters now more than ever.
And books of the Bible provide a built-in way to focus your attention and your congregation on a theme.
Online Devotionals are Powerful Tools, and You’ve Already Done the Work!
Why not leverage this reality and show up in your congregation’s email inbox with a short video or written piece full of truth and encouragement?
A weekly or daily devotional created by their very own pastor or church staff is a powerful way to assist people in their everyday walk.
You don’t have to be an expert. In fact, you don’t even have to recreate content for digital platforms or stress about coming up with new and creative ways of saying things you urgently want to communicate.
Why? Because you’ve already done that work ––it’s all in your weekly sermon. With more and more people getting their content from digital spaces, it’s more important now than ever before for pastors to get into that space in an efficient and impactful way.
When you use the content from your weekly sermons, you’re putting that message in front of your congregation more often, making it much more accessible.
You have the capability of encouraging and challenging occasional online viewers and regular attendees alike by creating devotionals they can open and engage with at their convenience.
This way, you’ll have multiple touch points of discipleship throughout the week.
This will allow others to sit with the message longer and apply some of the principles practically leading to actual life-change and transformational living.
Creating Your First Devotional
So, how do you create your first devotional piece from your sermons?
Pick which sermon series you would like to pull content from. A simple way to choose is to revisit one of your favorites or select a book of the Bible you’re drawn to, or that seems relevant to what your church is facing.
If you’re writing the devotional to print or use online, be sure it’s not too long. People want a 5-minute read. The same goes for a video devotional.
For more information on how to create VIDEO devotionals, see this article.
Steps to Adapting a Sermon Series into a Devotional
Once you’ve decided which sermon series you’re going to pull from, you should have plenty of content to condense into many devotionals.
Highlight the Main Point
As you edit your first sermon and condense it into a devotional, highlight the most important point ––the big idea of the message ––and pick one prime example or story that supports it.
Now, expand upon what you would like to convey about that point. Remember, it’s not a sermon, but a brief thought and encouragement for the day. You want it to take your reader five minutes or less to read it. So, it needs to be simple, engaging, and to the point.
You may close with a main thought to consider or a quick prayer to help readers submit their hearts to the Lord and ask God to help them apply it directly.
Don’t be afraid to add your own style through storytelling, powerful analogies, or practical advice, and just like in your sermon, keep it relational so your audience can connect with what you’re saying on a deeper level.
Identify Your Audience
An important step that you do not want to skip is to set aside a little time to identify your audience. If you don’t know who you’re speaking to, it will be difficult to come across as relevant and keep your members engaged.
Think about all the different people who belong to your congregation. There are probably singles of various ages, individuals who attend by themselves, and families with varying marital and dependent circumstances.
Remember that males and females receive information from different perspectives. The same is true for people at different ages and spiritual maturity levels. So, who would you most like to reach with your devotional?
Choose Your Delivery Method
Your next objective is to choose your delivery method. What system makes the most sense for you right now? Consider your calendar, whether you have help on the project, and what system would be the quickest and easiest way to get it launched.
It’s better to be effective with a few platforms than less effective with many. And remember… you can always switch up your delivery method and try new things.
Form a Volunteer Team
Once you’re ready to launch your devotional, consider forming a volunteer team.
Chances are, there are gifted and talented writers, communicators, storytellers, artists, and creatives sitting in your congregation who would love the opportunity to serve in such a way!
Not only will this allow you to be more effective in your approach and execution of creating online devotionals, it will free you up to focus solely on crafting your sermons and pastoring your church.
Try to select a variety of people who will commit and give you honest feedback. As this team grows, consider identifying a leader for this team so you’re not doing all the reminding and planning of meetings, and someone else who can lead the charge on this effort.
Because this is new for you, it’s wise to start small when launching your devotional. Don’t have enormous expectations for yourself as you begin ––especially if you don’t have any help just yet.
As mentioned before, choose one sermon series to pull from to create a condensed version to deliver. You could start with providing just one devotional a week and then increase as you get more comfortable with the process.
Once you have a handle on how you want to deliver it, how you want it to look, and you’ve found a healthy rhythm, it’s a good idea to find some volunteer support to help you write and deliver the content.
We want to share some examples of Bible book sermon series that would translate well into online devotionals so you can start thinking creatively about how you’d turn these into weekly or daily devotionals for your church.
James Sermon Series
This series, from Foothill Church in Glendora, CA, is filled with practical wisdom that challenges us to put our faith into action. Turning a book of the Bible sermon series into a devotional will allow your congregation to dive even deeper into the historical context you are teaching on.
Ephesians Sermon Series
This series, from Seacoast Community Church in Encinitas, CA, is about finding our place in the family of God. It’s chock full of relevant concepts. This book is chock full of relevant concepts that your congregation can apply in today’s day and age through a daily or weekly devotional setting.
Exodus Sermon Series
This series, from West Ridge Church in Dallas, GA, unpacks how God is drawing us out of where we are currently to be closer to Him. Consider unpacking old testament books into online devotionals to give your church the opportunity to better understand the history of this time.
Colossians Sermon Series
This series, from Evergreen Church in Bloomington, MN, walks through the idea that everyone is looking for happiness. This 11-week series unpacks our human behaviors toward achieving happiness and discovering that Jesus is the ultimate source for everything we need… an excellent study for a daily devotional.
Philippians Sermon Series
This series is from Worship Center in Lancaster, PA. Take the book of Philippians and turn it into an online devotional to encourage your church to do further study as they learn about the early church and how to apply what they learn in their own lives.
Acts Sermon Series
This series, from City Lights Church in St. Louis, MO, works its way through the first eight chapters of Acts. The overall theme unpacks the coming of the Holy Spirit and how the world got flipped upside down. The study of the Holy Spirit is vast and this type of sermon series would be an excellent option for devotional adaptation.
Daniel Sermon Series
This series, from Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK, is about the conviction Daniel lived his life by. Take your congregation through the powerful stories of Daniel and show them how to apply these same principles in their own lives today as you unpack this through a weekly devotional.
Your Congregation is Looking for Authentic Content Online
Think about it–right now people are consuming content like never before. People receive it in a variety of ways but having devotionals in both written and visual form allows you to reach a broader audience.
Your people — and even people you’re trying to reach — want authentic content. As much as everyone on social media attempts to put up a good front, those who are seeking God and something deeper truly desire genuine connection and authenticity.
This is great news because it means your video devotional presentations don’t have to be perfect! Just be real; be you. Another great thing about pre-recorded messages is that you can redo it if you mess up!
Creating and Delivering Online Devotionals Doesn’t Have to be Hard
We unpack several other delivery options in this article, which also includes more detail regarding the reasons creating devotionals is a great idea and what they should include.
Learn how to assess whether your content is not just good, but great by visiting our blog at: https://ministrypass.com/sermon-devotional-topics/
As you consider how to fulfill your calling as pastor, we hope you’ll find courage to try something new.
Devotionals based on a book of the Bible just might become one of your favorite ways to minister to your people. All it takes is setting aside a little time to plan, create, and share.
Take what you’ve already planned, simplify it, and share more specific content with your church. It will save you time while ministering more often. And your people will love it!