Your pastor’s cheat sheet?
Plagiarism? Not exactly. Sermon Central does post a lot of messages free for the downloading. And some are written so well, it does make you wonder: Was the last great sermon you heard born in some other pulpit?
The site is billed as a resource for ministers, but it’s also handy for laypeople to read as quick essays. And unlike a church, if you get bored, you can walk out without drawing attention!
But some of them really are interesting. More than 90 categories are covered — including addiction, hardship, Narnia, marriage, dreams, racism, truth and worship — easily searchable by several methods.
You can search by keyword, preset topic (movies, quotations, etc.) or Bible passage. You can search among the 32 denominations of the sermon contributors — not just the usual Baptist or Methodist, but also Congregational, Disciples, Adventist, even Orthodox.
You can also sort by the contributing preachers, from a culturally diverse roster — and see whose sermons are most viewed and highest rated by members of the site. Finally, you can find who is preaching what in your home state.
What’s the catch? One is that you can access a lot of “premium” material, like church dramas, only with a paying account. Also for sale are PowerPoint templates — crosses, candles, Communion chalices — as backdrops for projected sermon outlines. You can also buy film loops or short videos with evocative devotional lessons. They cost up to $25.
For a stressed cleric caught short on a weekend, Sermon Central can be Saturday night salvation. But wouldn’t it be fun for him to give a sermon you’ve read — and see you lip-sync as he preaches!