Filing your sermons

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by JoeKan, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. JoeKan

    JoeKan
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    I was doing some cleaning in my office and was surprised to notice how full my file cabinets were with sermons from the years past. I have saved every one of them and have filled them under the book of the Bible that I preached from.
    I was wondering how many other preachers save their sermons. Do you save them on disk or CD? And/or save your complete notes like I do and file them away?
    Joe
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I have a file for each book of the bible, plus files for special series that I have preached. I keep all my sermons in those files. Plus I keep a copy of them on a jump drive. I have considered putting them on CD just haven't got around to doing it yet.
     
  3. go2church

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    Filed in by year, month, AM or PM on computer
    In the filing cabinet my notes are filed by month inside the church bulletin for that day, helps me to keep track of what we did last year.
     
  4. mnw

    mnw
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    Being a young preacher I don't have nearly as many to file as some of you old fellas... :) But I do have a system in place.

    On my computer they are filed either by series or the file name is Scripture - Sermon Title. For example:

    John 3.16 - The Greatest Gift

    My true help comes from an excel spreadsheet. In the spreadsheet I have every sermon title with the book, chapter, verse, when and where I preached, key words, sermon series and whatever other information I want to store.
     
  5. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    As an "old fella", I wish I had had the help of a computer and a spreadsheet back at the beginning. But I am working on catching up by storing on the spreadsheet everything you mentioned, plus the liturgical calendar day that is applicable (e.g., Advent 1, 2, 3, 4, Christmas Eve, Epiphany, etc.).

    I file the paper manuscripts alphabetically by title, but it is easy to retrieve them even if I do not recall the title because of the above-mentioned database.

    In addition, I do have a good many on my computer, and, as time allows, am scanning older typewritten manuscripts as documents that can be edited for formatting (hard to resist the temptation to edit the content as well, but that would be distorting history!).

    Finally, during the last several years of my pastorate I posted sermons to SermonCentral.com, and, as I scan older material and reformat it, I am also posting it. That way even if I suffer a disastrous loss of paper files and of computer hard drive, I have an online way to retrieve. Oh, yes, I do back up all my documents, sermons and everything else, once a week, on an external hard drive.
     
  6. mnw

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    Just to clarify, I refer to you "old fellas" in the most respectful way. :) We younger guys are blessed by your faithful service.
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    My sermons are filed using the same system as a library of books, the Dewey Decimal system.

    I wrote sermons out in full, and then abbreviated them into pulpit notes. Both are then filed in a cardboard folder with all the details on the outer cover. These are then filed in cardboard file boxes. I used my sermon titles as the reference point, place preached and anecdotal notes added.

    For example, my very first sermon was designed to last 20 minutes. It lasted all of 7 minutes, when I promptly tried to release my hands from their grip on the portable lectern. I moved to the side to pick up a hymn book and dropped the lectern on the floor, announced the hymn....end of notes.

    Frankly, I haven't found a use for the filed sermons, but we had to have a filing system in place in order to graduate from seminary. I have never preached a sermon twice, and I have only glanced at some filed sermons over 50 odd years of preaching. Maybe posterity will read them, or maybe they will destroy them.

    A computer wold have made things easier years ago, but my old portable Remington typewriter did the job. I have written a few sermons since owning a computer and found it cuts my time in half.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    PS. Just for fun I looked up a specific date and found this: Septer 21, 1997, Remember and forget not, Deut 32:1-7. It was a Remembrance Day sermon for WWII veterans who had been meeting every month since 1945.
     
  8. rbell

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    I've been doing my stuff via computer since about 1988...so I have several thousand files worth.

    At the top of my sermons & Bible studies, I put the scripture(s), and key words that might identify the sermon, and date(s) used. I title the sermon on my computer with the title and original date.

    Then, by using the "search" feature in Windows, I can search my Bible studies folder for topics, scriptures, dates, or even keywords in illustrations.

    Oh, and I back up religiously. Otherwise, you have a preacher cussing, and that usually ain't good...

    Merry Christmas,

    Rbell
     
  9. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Without Iowa you would not have had a computer as we know it today. At Iowa State University Dr. Atanasoff and his assistant built the first electronic digital computer that they finished in 1942.

    http://www.cs.iastate.edu/jva/jva-archive.shtml
     
  10. mnw

    mnw
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    BUt of course, the true genius behind the computer is a British man, Alan Turing. :)
     
  11. PastorSBC1303

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    And this matters to this thread in what way?:thumbsup:
     
  12. mnw

    mnw
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    :) Somewhere like Iowa has to bring out their achievements whenever the odd chance arises...

    My apologise to Iowans... (Is that the right word?)
     
  13. bobbyd

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    The bulk of my sermons are saved on a disc, or right now on the hard drive of my new laptop and organized by date preached or in folders by series.
    I do have some older ones stored in a folder in my desk that i probably should get around to saving to disk also.
    At some point i think i will burn them to discs by years preached and save them.
    Good topic btw.
     
  14. TomVols

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    Let me strongly suggest to all of my brothers: backup your sermons immediately. Do it today. You never know what will happen. My PC crashed in 2000, taking with it a few hundred sermons, along with other notes, seminary papers, etc. The material was unable to be retrieved and put on a new pc. Backup often!

    I store the sermons on computer and then the backups are in a fire-proof vault. I use a similar method to what's been described by others. It is just as important to me to keep a database or use other software to denote the when, where, etc. of a sermon. Good software is available to help you do this and it's very cheap
     

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