What tools do you use to write your sermons digitally? We’ve got the best apps for writing sermons digitally and we’ll explain why each works great and recommend the best single option.
Most of us no longer write out sermons by hand or type them on an old-fashioned typewriter. We write in Bible study software, a word processor, a notepad app, a note program, or some other software.
Microsoft Word or Another Word Processor are Some of the Best Apps for Writing Sermons Digitally
The granddaddy of word processors comes from Microsoft. Most people who use a word processor write with Microsoft Word. Other options include a form of the open-source OpenOffice, like Libre Office Writer. OpenOffice is the foundation for Libre Office. It’s a great tool if you use Linus or want a powerful tool that you can get for free.
If you write your sermons with one of these powerful word processors, you will likely come up with your sermon outline, copy and paste text from a Bible program or the Internet, and formate it for preaching.
When I write in Microsoft Word, I format the document with large text for each major sermon division (read points). Each sermon has large green text so I can see it in the pulpit easily as I preach with my sermon notes open. Bible quotes use large bright red text and standard quotes from people or commentaries use large purple text.
The sermon syncs to my iPad using OneDrive and I open it in Word. The iPad sits on my podium so I can look down and check my notes as I preach through the sermon.
This works with an Android tablet or a Windows computer like a Microsoft Surface tablet.
If you’re all in using Apple Hardware and software, go with Apple Pages and iCloud sync. It works well even if Pages doesn’t come with all the powerful features of Word or one of these open-source word processors.
Remember that Microsoft Word costs at least $6.99/month for the basic Microsoft 365 subscription. You can often find deals online on eBay or Amazon, but be careful that you’re buying from a reputable buyer.
Bible Study Software Sermon Writing Tools
Logos 9 includes a useful Sermon Manager to create your sermon preaching calendar for weeks to years out in advance. Then, you open a single document with a tool called the Sermon Builder. This was a huge part of the Logos 9 upgrade. They worked to overall the sermon writing and organizing features to make it more usable.
Logos 9 users will love the way the built-in Sermon Builder syncs with their Proclaim worship presentation software. If you use it in your church, then you can create sermons in Logos 9 and it will sync to Presentation for the date the preacher is scheduled to preach that sermon.
Using Logos and Proclaim together lets the preacher publish his sermon online in text mode. Plus the church can record both audio and video to publish podcasts or worship service videos.
Accordance Bible Software also lets users write inside the software. The Papers option works best. The video below shows how to create and edit Papers in Accordance 12 and later.
You could also use things like Notes files and most Bible study apps. But the above two options work best for creating sermons that you can store inside the program and search later to reuse part or all of the sermon.
The cost of Bible software varies wildly depending on which vendor you buy from, what package of tools you purchase, and whether it’s on sale.
To get Logos 9 10% off, I’d appreciate you using my affiliate link at www.logos.com/KevinPurcell where you can buy a package and get a few free books too. I get a commission which helps me do my work here on this site and on my YouTube channel.
Note Apps Built Into Your Operating System are Useful Apps for Writing Sermons Digitally
As I said above, you could just write plant text or simply formatted text in a Note attached to a passage inside your Bible study program. If you use something Like Olive Tree or PocketBible, this might offer the best option.
Writing in a note gives you a simpler option when compared to complex word processors or advanced Bible software with a Sermon Builder or Paper feature like Logos or Accordance mentioned above.
Notability or Other iOS Apps for Writing Sermons by Hand
For users on iOS and Mac, try out the great note-taking apps like Notability on iPad and macOS. You can write using your handwriting, or typing. When you’re finished you can export the results as a PDF or image file.
There’s a segment of users who enjoy mind mapping their sermons. I’m not one but I’ve read about them. People like this will organize their sermon notes by putting the major subject in the center of the screen in a circle or box. Then they will draw lines away from the center to another shape for each major sermon division or point. Under each or around each they show their explanation, proof, and application for each main sub idea in the sermon. Add an introduction and conclusion and you’ve got a visual method of displaying the sermon.
Above you’ll see a visual form of those from my friend Antoine Wright who visited my church and did what he called a “Sketch Note” of my sermon that day. You could do something like this for your sermon notes. If you’re not artistically inclined like Antoine, then you can use text or print instead of images.
You could use other note-taking apps like Apple Notes, Good Notes, and more.
Samsung Notes or Other Apps for Writing Sermons by Hand on Galaxy Android Devices
Another option for Android and Samsung users is Samsung Notes. It’s built into Samsung’s version of Android. I like using it because it’s simple and easy to learn. However, it has fewer features than Notability. If you could use. Notability on an Android device I would.
Use Samsung Notes to create notes with handwriting or type using a keyboard. The strategy is the same as it is for iOS handwriting apps.
Sermonary for Online Sermon Writing the Best of Online Apps for Writing Sermons Digitally
A final option includes a website that lets you write online called Sermonary. Here’s how it works. Create a new sermon and then add your sermon elements. Add sermon divisions or points. Then create subpoints for the explanation, proof, and application.
Sermonary includes Templates for different styles of sermons. You can use…
3 Point Sermons
Andy Stanley’s ME-WE-GOD-YOU-ME format
Running commentary format
Defender’s Outline for an apologetics sermon
The service adds resources to help you preach the word including some visuals, sermon series ideas, and more.
Sermonary costs nothing for the basic editor. Add more features and you’ll pay $19/month or $69/month for a bundle with Sermonary and Ministry Pass. That adds sermon series ideas, visuals for presentations, holiday sermons, plus sermon illustrations.
In addition to Sermonary, instead, you could use any online writing tools like…
Text-based Writing Tools with Markup to Write Sermons in Plain Text
Some people prefer simple text editors. Almost every computer or mobile device includes a text-based writing app like Notepad on Windows, Apple Text Edit on macOS, and Apple Notes on iOS, iPadOS, or macOS.
If you’re an Android user, you might find a good text editor, but sometimes you need to download one from the Google Play Store. Consider Writer Plus a great Android text editor available on both iOS and Android. Use it as a basic text editor or add markdown to format your text. The app is free with the option to donate via in-app purchase.
Recommendation for Writing Sermons
If you have access to Microsoft Word, then go with it. It’s cross-platform meaning you can move from iOS to Android to Windows to Mac and back. Second, it’s not tied to one Bible study program. The death of Bibleworks and Wordsearch recently proves we should move carefully deeper into one platform’s ecosystem. I like to keep as much as possible separate from my Bible software.
Dr. Kevin Purcell is pastor of High Peak Baptist Church, an author and writer at Church Tech Today (www.churchtechtoday.com). He used to write for a number of other Christian and secular technology and mobile tech sites. Now he's one of the hosts of the Theotek Podcast, which you can find by checking the menu above or over at www.facebook.com/theotekpodcast.