Early on as a young man I aspired to preach the gospel. One of my prized possessions is a sermon outline book, Seed for the Sower by Leroy Brownlow, which was given to me by my friend Jay Bowman when I was about 11 years old. Brother Bowman was aware of my desire to "grow up" to be a preacher, and wanted to encourage me in that quest. I recently passed on the book to a young man who has indicated the same desire to preach.
In addition to the sentimental value of that gift, it has had practical use for me through the years. Though I seldom if ever take a sermon outline book off my library shelves these days, I still use and benefit from material prepared by other brethren. And these days, the material is ever easier to come by, thanks to the resources of the internet.
This month, I want to share with you six internet resources which will be of help to gospel preachers in sermon and bulletin preparation. My thanks to the webmasters of these sites, and to the preachers who have prepared much good material (many times the two are the same). I would encourage our readers to either copy down the URL of this article, or print it out and give it to any young man who is aspiring to, or engaging in the work of a gospel preacher. (In the future, he will look kindly upon your thoughfulness).
While it is not possible to vouch for the scripturality of every sermon and article in the following resources, in the main the sites mentioned here have material which is both true to the book, and of high quality.
The Pruett and Lobit congregation in Baytown, TX has a web site they have titled "Biblework." The site contains a large selection of brother Larry Ray Hafley's, (Contending for the Faith writer for Watchman Magazine), articles and sermon charts. Additionally, the church has a long list of videotapes of sermons and debates which they freely give as a part of their work. They are to be commended for such generosity in sharing the gospel.
Brother Jeff Smith, evangelist for the Woodmont church of Christ in Ft. Worth, TX, (and Solid Food writer for Watchman Magazine), maintains this wonderful resource. Jeff is very organized, and his site contains large numbers of his sermon outlines and articles. The outlines are detailed, and will be greatly beneficial to the inexperienced preacher. Additionally, the Electronic Gospel site has much class material, and brother Smith has been adding materials in the PDF format, which prints up beautifully for class use.
Jeff also sends out his Woodmont Beacon electronic bulletin Thursday of each week. The bulletin normally includes two articles, and skeleton outlines of the sermons he preaches each week at Woodmont. To join his mailing list, go to the Electronic Gospel site. On the front page, click on Woodmont Beacon. At the top of that page, click on Join Our Mailing List. Fill out the form and submit it to receive this valuable resource.
Joe Price, preacher for the Mt. Baker church in Bellingham, Washington maintains this site, which includes numerous class materials, articles and sermon studies. Additionally, Joe invites any visitor to ask questions. He is dedicated to this work, and will quickly and ably answer any legitimate Bible question. This would be a wonderful help to a young man who is struggling with a particular passage or concept.
Joe also sends out a weekly bulletin, which he calls The Spirit's Sword. If you would like to receive this weekly email, you can subscribe by emailing Joe at email@example.com, and asking to be added to the subscription list. The Spirit's Sword usually contains a couple of articles, occasional commentary on issues in the news, and two wonderful sermon outlines. Brother Price's outlines are logical, and easily adaptable for your own use. This resource is among my favorites.
Mark Copeland is an internet pioneer among Christians. For a number of years he has been posting sermon outlines and class material on the internet. A number of years ago he moderated a list, called markslist, that had literally hundreds of Christians involved in daily Bible discussions. Though markslist no longer exists, Executable Outlines does, for which we are thankful.
Mark's outlines are logically presented, and extremely helpful. The site is well organized. You will be astounded at the hundreds of good outlines you will find on this site.
Warren Berkley & Jon Quinn co-edit this monthly electronic magazine, which most probably is the first of its kind on the internet. Expository Files is a bit different from most web-zines, in that it is published primarily in a format that is designed to be downloaded to your computer. The file is self-executable, and brings up a simple reader which has "copy/paste" "save as" and "print" features. This format is extremely useful for "borrowing" for bulletin use.
The site has every issue published from 1994 to the present. The issues are available not only in their original format, but also in the HTML format, and can be read online.
As indicated by the name, Expository Files consists primarily of articles that are expository in nature. This means that the articles explain passages of scripture, rather than following a more topical format. In recent years, however, the expository articles have been supplemented by special topical studies.
This final site is not quite as extensive as the others, but I beg your indulgence as it is maintained by this author. The site has three specific areas to commend it.
The preceding are only the hem of the garment. One of the best uses of the internet is as a resource to preachers and teachers. One caveat, however. It is important that the reader be discerning. Error is present on the web as well as truth. In fact, it has a greater presence. If you wish to share such resources with a young aspiring preacher, be careful where you point him. Might I suggest the above sites as a good place to start.