This one goes out to all the preachers out there (cue guitar solo).
I know you spend a lot of time in sermon prep. Like, a lot of time. I know that most people joke about how preachers only work 3-4 hours a week (maybe double that for a Gospel Meeting — *gasp*), but I know that the prep work that goes into a sermon is many times that.
One informal survey found out that the average sermon took anywhere between 10-13 hours to prepare each week. If you’re one of those guys that’s preaching twice a week (Sunday morning and night), that’s half the time most people spend at their full-time job.
That doesn’t even include the hours spent in class prep, phone calls, Bible studies, home visits, emergency calls, Gospel meeting coordination, and all the billion other things that preachers are asked to do at their various congregations.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get a little more bit more juice of that squeeze?
15 Ways to Repurpose That Sermon From Last Week
As with any list, the following points are not exhaustive. They represent the best of my own individual research and ways that I’ve seen other people utilize sermon material at their own local congregation.
Feel free to add to this list, share it with your friends, mix and match to your heart’s desire.
1. Highlight Video Reels
The people have spoken, and short-form video content what the people want. Compared to long-form video content, consumers consider shorter videos to be 2.5 times more engaging, which means they should be a part of your online strategy somehow.
Thankfully, turning a sermon into a series of “highlight reels” — shorter video snippets that are only a few minutes long (at most) — doesn’t take long. You can do this with most video editing software like Screenflow, or an all-in-one option like Canva.
If you’re the one that preached the sermon, think back to a point you made that you thought landed particularly well. Or the main point of your sermon. Or several points. Drop your video file into that software, cut around it for context, and upload to social. You might be surprised at the results.
If you really want to take this to the next level, create Youtube Short out of it. Originally created as a response to shorter form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, Youtube Shorts are subtly turning into a juggernaut of their own.
Just this year, Youtube announced that their daily view count crossed 50 billion. That’s 50 billion views per day. It’s time for Christians to take advantage of that growth.
2. Transcription for Articles
Fun fact: My mom actually made a career out of medical transcription. I remember coming home from school and seeing her plugged into her computer with her headset on, dutifully typing medical reports for local physicians.
These days, transcription requires a lot less effort. In fact, depending on how much you trust artificial intelligence, you can even upload your sermon audio to a service like Otter.ai and let it dictate it for you.
You’ll want to go back through it for editing purposes, but what it spits out can be remarkably accurate. I actually did this with one of my sermons as a test; you can see the results on our church website. (Spoiler: the results weren’t fantastic, but it’s definitely doable if you devoted more time to it).
The best part about this strategy is that you can create an amazing pillar article for your topic clusters this way. Since the average 30 minute sermon hovers around 4500 spoken words, a sermon transcript would be amazing long-form content that you could generate with less than an hours’ worth of work.
3. Automated Email Series
Assuming you’ve embraced the idea of list-building, you’ll need some kind of content for your automated email series that gets sent out when people subscribe.
The options for this are endless. You could use a devotional, a series of articles, a downloadable, or 100 other options.
Or you could use a sermon.
I’m not suggesting you re-preach the sermon for every subscriber, but since most sermons have multiple points, you could take each one of those points and turn them into some kind of welcome sequence. Have them read a shorter version of each point, and by the time they get to the end of it, they’ll have digested a healthy dose of Scripture (prayerfully).
4. Text-Based Social Media Prompts
This one is adjacent to the “highlight reel” idea mentioned earlier. The difference is that instead of cutting sermon video clips, you’re including a quote from your own sermon as a text-based status update instead.
(Don’t feel bad about quoting yourself. After all, Moses bragged about the fact that he was the most humble man to ever live — Numbers 12:3).
Campbell Road church of Christ, based in Garland, does this really well. After their services, a person compiles a couple quotes from the sermon that morning and posts them on social. The responses are generous — usually double-digit reactions, at least.
What quotes can you pull to post on yours?
5. Devotional E-Book
When it comes to lead magnets, few things are more powerful than an e-book. They are far and away the most popular choice for internet marketers (nearly a third favor them) because they’re timeless, useful, and valuable.
If you’re basing a book on a sermon though, you’ve already done most of the work. Create an e-devotional based on your sermon series, or take several related sermons and make an even better devotional to hand out to subscribers.
Readers recognize all the work that goes into it and will reward you with their contact information.
6. Blogs From Individual Points
It can be a challenge to come up with individual blog post ideas week in and week out. A lot of preachers resort to using articles from other guys to fill their bulletins (nothing wrong with that if credit is given), but you have plenty of blog material right in your sermon from last week.
Look at what you preached on. Chances are, you left a healthy amount on the cutting room floor. Some of that content you probably loved, so why not turn it into a blog article – or a blog series?
Even better, turn your sermon content into a pillar post, and develop a topic cluster of smaller articles around it. Boom: Blogs done for the next several weeks.
Take these articles and then post them in places where they can get traction, such as Reddit or Quora. Make sure you engage with the community though instead of just spamming though, or else you’ll most likely get your post removed and your account banned.
Still, if you can become a helpful contributor to those types of online communities, you could generate passive traffic to your links and blog articles for years.
7. Podcast Audio
I know, you probably don’t want to repreach your sermon. I’m not asking you to.
What I am suggesting here is taking your sermon (that I’m sure you absolutely nailed, BTW), and making a smaller version for a weekly podcast. This way, you have the advantage of multiple takes, editing software, even a transcript — whatever you need to make it how you like.
A lot of website software will automate podcasts based off your sermon uploads. That’s totally fine if you just like churning out content, but taking some time to make your podcast truly a podcast can be the difference in your podcast succeeding or dying a slow death into obscurity.
8. Newspaper Article
It may surprise you to learn that a lot of people still read the newspaper every single day.
That readership has declined in recent years, though. A recent Pew Research study found that print and digital editions combined for almost 25 million daily readers during the weekday, and 26 million for Sunday — and is dropping nearly 6% every year.
However, that still leaves a sizeable chunk of people in your hometown that consume the daily news from a dedicated source. Not only will you develop some local cache with your audience, but you’ll also grab a few local links, which are super powerful for SEO.
One of the best ways to do that is by writing a column. Many newspapers have an “ask the editor” or “submit an article” option on their website; just click through and follow the requirements to have your article considered.
In order to give yourself the best chance of success, though, you’ll want to follow a few best practices.
- Make it Timely. If a holiday or time of year is approaching, leverage that for your topic. Alternatively, use Google Trends to see what’s hot right now.
- Make it Brief. Most newspapers are on a space restriction, so keep your article to less than 1000 words unless specified otherwise.
- Make it Valuable. Editors aren’t just looking for content, they want something that their audience will appreciate. Give it to them, and you’re gold.
- Make it Local. If you have a Gospel Meeting or sermon series coming up, be sure to mention that in your article.
Of all the media types you could possible publish on the internet, there’s a strong case to be made that infographics are the most powerful.
For one, they’re insanely shareable. Infographics are a great way to communicate a lot of technical information in a visually appealing, simple way. The brain processes it a whole lot easier — ergo, it gets shared a ton more.
This also has the potential for more backlinks. People are looking for ways to express information similar to yours, so they look for an infographic and stumble on yours. Before you know it, it’s on their site and you’ve got a shiny new backlink pointing to your site.
They’re also easy to make. So easy, in fact, that I made one for this article from Canva in less than 10 minutes. Is it perfect? No. Will anyone confuse me for a graphic designer anytime soon? Also no. But it works, and sometimes, that’s all that matters.
10. Visitor’s Pamphlets
If you’ve done a sermon series on some foundational, first-principle type points, use some of that material in your visitor’s pamphlets.
We already encourage you to put some kind of statement of belief on your website — preferably your home page — but a visitor’s packet serves a similar purpose. You tell your visitors where you stand, and you can encourage them to ask any questions they have.
I know this point isn’t digital-related, but this can still be an excellent way to repurpose some of that sermon material, so it counts.
11. Dedicated Landing Page
I LOVE landing pages. There’s something about the utility of them that make them so appealing. They’re kind of a one-stop-shop type of solution that takes all the relevant points of a conversation and gives it to your audience in one single blast.
Kind of like a sermon.
When you preach, you often start out by stating a problem and guiding your listeners down a specific path towards a solution. At the end, you ask them to make a decision based on what they’ve heard (i.e. “the invitation”).
A landing page is no different, with the the exception that this one can exist in perpetuity and gives your readers the ability to jump around if they want. They can read this point, then that point, then go all the way down to your call-to-action, which could be calling the church for a study or signing up for a mailing list.
The possibilities are endless. If you’re not implementing landing pages on your site in some capacity, I encourage you to do so now (…as we stand and sing).
12. Create a Resource Page
You may not know what a resource page is by me just talking about it, but I guarantee you’ve seen one at some point.
Some people call them “post round-ups,” but the gist is pretty much the same. You take all the relevant articles on a certain topic (or several topics) and put them on a page where people can access them easily. They’re great for SEO and really easy to get…if you can find them.
They look something like this.
Don’t know where to start? Take your most recent sermon, create a summary at the top, then find links from writers you respect, appreciate, and are sound, and link to them so that others can benefit.
13. Social Media Graphics
Turning quotes/verses/points/powerpoints into social media posts might be the most straightforward thing you can do with your sermons, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.
Chances are, you have anywhere from 10-15 different individual verses in your sermon that you could pinpoint and make a social media image out of. And if you have a template for them already, it shouldn’t take very long at all.
If you want to take this a step further, take a picture of some kid’s sermon notes. These may not be “professionally done” (although their mom I’m sure would disagree), but they can spread like wildfire. People love that type of stuff. Just make sure you get the appropriate permissions, first.
14. Make a FAQ Section on Website
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are a good idea to include on just about any page, but they work especially well on an “about” page. People are there to find out more information about your church, why not take a few of those main concepts from your sermons and turn them into bullet points?
Better yet, why not create an entire paragraph around some of these more foundational doctrines, then link to an entire sermon where they can learn more on their own? It’ll drive up interest, create stronger links between pages, and answer their questions. It’s a win for everyone.
15. Post it on a Sermon Resource Page
Contrary to popular opinion, a “sermon resource” page is not the same thing as the “topic roundup” that we mentioned earlier. This is a site that aggregates sermons from lots of different people around a specific subject.
My personal favorite is SermonCentral.com. It’s a paid site where you can access all types of sermon resources (good or bad), but you can also find entire sermon manuscripts that others have used on various topics.
Am I suggesting you rip them off and use them as your own? No, although they can be valuable for research material.
I am, however, encouraging you to make a free account on there to submit your own. I did that a few years ago with one of my sermons on a whim, and I still have views today. Not a ton, but I would imagine with a little more volume, the traffic would come pouring in.
Besides the obvious positive factor of spreading more Truth on a site where that can sometimes be lacking, you also generate links for your sermons and church websites. It’s a great (free) way to create your own traffic.
Can You Think of Another Way to Repurpose a Sermon?
When you come to the end of a Sunday, I’m sure you’re tired. The last thing you want to do with those sermons after you’ve spent all day preaching them is look at them (at least for that day.
But by taking a few hours to do one or more of the methods above, you’ll give your sermon even more legs than you would’ve otherwise. Anyone of them can be a force multiplier for your evangelistic efforts.
The main one that I’ve settled on is creating an article based off my sermon for that week. I start it right after I put the finishing touches on the sermon itself, that way it’s fresh in my mind. Once it’s finished, I post it. On more than one occasion, people at Hillside have read the sermon online before I actually preached it, which I think actually helps with retention.
As a side note, I’ve noticed the organic traffic to the site start to increase, which is always nice.
Pick one — or several — of the above options, and get to work!