Family Worship Manual: May 14-20, 2017

Family Worship Manual: May 14-20, 2017

In a recent post I mentioned that I would be writing a “Family Worship Manual” for the congregation I pastor at Landis Presbyterian Church, PCA.  I have completed the manual for May 14-20, 2017.

A few notes: First, the “Preached Word” section covers the sermons I am currently preaching at Landis. If you plan on using this manual with your family, you will want to substitute that section for the sermons in your church.  Second, the plan takes a family through the New Testament one chapter at a time. Third, the discussion points are suggestions. They are designed to provoke conversation.  Fathers or heads of households should be mindful of the age of their children and adjust them accordingly. As I said, they are merely suggestions. 

My intention is to release the manual every Friday, Lord willing. I hope this is useful for you.  If you do use it, please let me know. I would also appreciate your feedback and suggestions.  Thank you.

You can download the manual in the attachments section below in Word and PDF format.

Sermon Database

Sermon Database

I was privileged to exhort often throughout my seminary life.  Now that I am a pastor who has the same privilege of preaching each week I wanted to be sure that every element of the worship service was somehow cataloged for reference and research.  I looked in vain for exactly what I wanted to include in a database. Therefore I wrote my own using Access. I am no expert in Access and the database I created is quite simple, but it does capture all the items I want for each worship service. The list of items I capture are:

 

  • The location, date and time of the service (AM or PM)
  • Call to Worship — The text of scripture that I used for the call to worship
  • Hymns — We have three hymns in our worship.  The first is immediately after the invocation/prayer of adoration.  The second is immediately after the confession of sin and assurance of pardon.  The last is immediately after the sermon. 
  • Confession of Sin — I write the confession of sin that will be used in the worship service structured around the reading of the law (first Scripture reading) used in the worship service. 
  • Confession of Faith — Utilizing the historic creed and confessions, (i.e. The Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, etc.).
  • Scripture readings — We have two.  The first is the “Reading of the Law” which precedes the confession of sin.  The second is the sermon text. 
  • Sermon notes — I attach the outline used for that worship service to the database.
  • Sermon quotes — I attach quotes that were used for that worship service if any were used. If I use quotes, they are always on a separate sheet of paper other than my outline. 
  • Sermon text — the passage of Scripture that is immediately related to the sermon.  It may or may not be the second Scripture reading.  Sometimes I read more than the sermon text in the second reading to offer the full context.
  • Sermon outline — the two or three points only. 
  • Notes — my database has a section for my own notes, unrelated to the sermon notes, if needed.

The advantage of having a database structured in this way is that I am now able to search by Scripture or hymn or other items and have the results immediately.  For instance, if I search for a sermon text it will give me the hymns that were used in the worship service. I can share the database I wrote in which you can use and modify as needed.  If you want it, let me know. The database I send will have all of my material, but you can easily delete things and start fresh with your own. 

I can share the database I wrote in which you can use and modify as needed.  If you want it, let me know. The database I send will have all of my material, but you can easily delete things and start fresh with your own. 

Sermon Preparation Using One Note

Sermon Preparation Using One Note

Microsoft One Note is a fantastic tool.  It is FREE for everyone (the free version requires that you use One Drive).  You can download it here.

NOTE: I would be interested in what others do to prepare their sermons. What methods? Leave a comment below. 

This post will walk you through my sermon preparation setup in One Note:

The first step in the setup is to create a notebook.  Click, file > new and determine where you want to place the notebook and the notebook name. I have titled mine “NT Sermons” and OT Sermons.” If you are using the cloud, which I recommend, you will store the notebook in the location suggested by One Note. Once the notebook is created, it will automatically open. 

The second step is to create a new “section group.” To do this, right-click in the area below the menu ribbon and select “new section group.”  Name it for the book of the Bible you are currently preaching. I suggest you number the groups according to the arrangement in the OT or NT.  Thus “Matthew” should be named “01 Matthew,” Mark should be named “02 Mark,” etc.

The third step is to create a new “section.” This section should be titled by the chapter of the book you are currently studying. Thus, chapter 1, chapter 2, etc.

The fourth step is to arrange your “page” for the pericope you are studying.  You can do this anyway you want.  My setup is shown to the left.

By clicking the “add page” button (to the right of the main page), you can add the pages you want for that notebook section. For instance, if you are preaching from Mark 11:1-11 you would add a page titled “*** Pericope Mark 11:1-11 ***” I add the asterisks to set each section apart.  I also add a number corresponding to the numbered sermon preached thus far through the book. Keep adding the pages needed to work through that pericope. I have a page called “Translations” to compare the main translations for the text. The next page you will add is the “verse.”  Thus, 11:1, 11:2, etc. until you have all the verses in a separate page for the passage. 

I also add a “scratch pad” to keep track of notes and thoughts that pop up when studying. I do that because I don’t want to forget anything that occurs when doing the exegesis. 

I add other pages as well.  It is up to you how you want to arrange it.  Notice the next pericope in the image to the left, complete with the number and the asterisks.  That sets off the pages from one another.  Again, you can do that however you want. 

The fifth step covers the first page you created, “***Pericope Mark 1:1-11”  In this page, I copy the Greek (or Hebrew) text as well as the English text for the translation of the Bible I will be using in the pulpit. I also do the structural analysis on this page, both Greek/Hebrew and English. I also make notes and observations — first impressions — as I work through it.  You may notice the superscripts next to each Greek word. I use that feature to number the words in each verse, and that is used in the verse pages I created. 

The sixth thing to setup is the individual verses, complete with a parsing chart for each word. The numbers correspond to the superscript numbering in the verses. This page holds my parsing, translation, lexical and grammatical cross-references for the verse, textual issues, genre items, as well as my own personal commentary on the verse and the commentaries of others. Everything for the verse being studied is contained on that page. 

I have included the “Scratch Pad” to show how I use it throughout the study of the passage. I frequently bounce back and forth here when ideas, applications, illustrations, etc. show up in my study. 

I highly recommend One Note. If you have questions as you try to set this up, please let me know. I will do what I can to help you. 

 

My Sermon Preparation Outline

My Sermon Preparation Outline

I am (overly) organized.  Therefore, I wrote an outline to help me carefully schedule my sermon preparation each week.  We have two worship services, so I need to get two sermons done.  The following outline keeps me heading in the right direction, so I am not in panic mode on Saturday night. 

I. Greek / Hebrew
    A. Text: Greek/Hebrew
    B. Text: English
    C. Structural Analysis
        1. English
        2. Greek/Hebrew
II. Verse by Verse Analysis
   A. Translation: parsing, notations, etc.
   B. Words
       1. Lexical
       2. Grammatical
   C. Cross References
   D. Textual Criticism
   E. Translation Comparison
   F. Genre
  G. Commentaries
      1. Personal
      2. John Calvin
      3. Matthew Henry
      4. Matthew Poole
      5. Others
III. Pericope Summary
      A. Summary Statement (general thoughts/comments on the passage)
      B. Rough Outline / Proposition
IV. Final Outline and Proposition
      A. Audience? Occasion and Adaptations
      B. Applications — NOTE: I have some great worksheets that help with this process. I will make them available soon.
      C. Illustrations 
      D. Sermon Purpose
      E. Final Outline
      F. Final Proposition
      G. Conclusion
      H. Introduction

Using the above outline, I structure my week as follows:

MON: My day “off.”
TUES:

  • 1Sermon – 1 // The number after the dash relates to #I. in the outline above. Therefore, all I care about on Tuesday is translating the passage, doing a structural analysis, and noting any grammar, lexical items as I translate. I have started working ahead on the translation phase.  If I am ahead, I jump right to the Wed. work with the idea of getting ahead. 

WED:

  • 1Sermon – 2 A, B, C, D, E, F, G // On Wed I start point II. above. 
  • 2Sermon – 1 // Following the outline, I will translate and note any textual items for the PM passage.

THUR:

  • 1Sermon –  2 A, B, C, D, E, F, G // On Thur, I complete point II. above.
  • 2Sermon – 2 A, B, C, D, E, F, G // 

FRI:

  • 1 Sermon – 3 and 4 // On Fri, I complete the outline, aside from any last minute items and other things.  The sermon is nearly complete. 
  • 2 Sermon – 2 A, B, C, D, E, F, G // Friday afternoon is usually dedicated to this section of the outline and the P.M. sermon. 

SAT:

  • 1 Sermon – Final // I usually work until 3 in the afternoon on Saturday, tweaking and adjusting the sermon.
  • 2 Sermon – 3 and 4 & Final // The afternoon sermon is completed on Saturday morning.

I am constantly tweaking and adjusting this process, but it has worked for me, for the most part. Keep in mind that this process assumes a quiet week in the pastorate. That sometimes happens, but not always, which is why I am trying to get ahead on the translation phase, which gives me a full day in the event I need it. I hate the feeling of dread when Saturday arrives, and I am nowhere near done. Every pastor knows that feeling. 

Feedback is welcomed. What process do you use? 

 

 

Worksheets for Preachers

Worksheets for Preachers

I have designed two worksheets to help me with my translation work as I prepare sermons each week.  They are not flashy, but they get the job done. You can download them below in Excel or PDF format.

When you print them out, set your printer to print on both sides of the paper.  I use the bottom of the page to write out my translation after parsing each word in the text. Each worksheet has space for fifty words.  I think that will cover nearly every verse in the Bible. 

NOTES: I use the bottom of the page to write out my translation after parsing each word in the text. I also make notes in the “translation” box related to grammar (i.e. things like “dative of advantage” and “direct discourse” or “historical present.” the type of pronoun: “personal,” “demonstrative” — things like that).  I also make notes in the margins related to things like “the subject of the sentence,” “the main verb,” “adjectives and what word they modify,” etc. The numbers down the left-hand side of the worksheet correspond to the number in the verse. 

I am also working on other items that I will share as I get them done. 

Family Worship Manual: May 7-13, 2017

Family Worship Manual: May 7-13, 2017

In a recent post I mentioned that I would be writing a “Family Worship Manual” for the congregation I pastor at Landis Presbyterian Church, PCA.  I have completed the manual for May 7-13, 2017.

A few notes: First, the “Preached Word” section covers the sermons I am currently preaching at Landis. If you plan on using this manual with your family, you will want to substitute that section for the sermons in your church.  Second, the plan takes a family through the New Testament one chapter at a time. Third, the discussion points are suggestions. They are designed to provoke conversation.  Fathers or heads of households should be mindful of the age of their children and adjust them accordingly. As I said, they are merely suggestions. 

My intention is to release the manual every Friday, Lord willing. I hope this is useful for you.  If you do use it, please let me know. I would also appreciate your feedback and suggestions.  Thank you.

You can download the manual in the attachments section below in Word and PDF format.