pulpitHere’s a (slightly tongue-in-cheek) idea after chatting with a vicar friend the other night…

Writing sermons is a time-consuming business. Not all clerics are particularly good at it, and there’s a long tradition, in certain circles, of reading other people’s classic sermons to your congregation, or re-using your own ones in other places. Has this been brought up to date?

Somebody should create, if they haven’t already, an online repository where you can upload your sermons, in text, audio or video form. They would be searchable by subject, biblical reference, etc and you would be free to download others and deliver them yourself. The only obligation would be that somewhere (e.g. on the service sheet) you would have to acknowledge your source: ‘Based on SermonSite sermon 4569 by Revd Joe Bloggs.’ You could then provide feedback, further notes, and ratings. More importantly, any members of the congregation who have downloaded the SermonSite phone app could also rate it, and Joe Bloggs would get appropriate credit.

Sermons that achieved a high-enough rating might migrate into the ‘SermonSite Pro’ category, where they were only accessible to those paying a larger subscription, and where the authors could be compensated for their use. Vicars who proved particularly gifted at this sort of thing could be commissioned to provide exclusive material for Sermonsite, so supplementing the meagre income provided by most ecclesiastical institutions, and so on…

Of course, I’m a bit out of touch, but I imagine that the average sermon-listening congregation these days doesn’t contain a high proportion of people who know how to download and use smartphone apps. That could be a problem.

Still, I offer the idea for what it’s worth. Maybe it’s something to think about, say, during a dull sermon…

SermonSite: Bringing the most powerful preaching to a pulpit near you.

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