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Best Resources

Best Resources for Sermons

What's In A Sermon? — Sermon and Worship Development

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship features resources to help preachers develop effective sermons and find examples of good sermons on specific themes or Scripture passages

Articles on the website, such as the Showcase piece "Planning Worship Series Ahead," by well-known worship mentor Howard Vanderwell, help motivate pastors to write sermons that have the most impact on the spiritual life of their congregations.

Sermon Ideas and Illustrations

Twelve sermon ideas can be found on the Practicing Our Faith website — a dozen core practices that enhance Christian discipleship. Each practice can serve as a theme for a single sermon or a sermon series. The accompanying resources for each theme make it possible to carry it into adult study programs.

The African American Lectionary offers unique sermon and worship resources targeting the experience of being African American and Christian in the U.S. today. Built from the Common Lectionary readings, weekly material includes sermon themes, illustrations and multimedia resources.

Religion Newswriters is an organization of religion news reporters and writers and offers material that may be helpful to the development and illustration of sermon ideas. ReligionLink's religion story ideas and resources are updated regularly, as are the Religion Headlines, which include feeds from popular religion blogs, academic sites and mainstream media, organized by topic.

PBS' Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly provides timely analysis of contemporary news and religious events by host Bob Abernethy. The site includes archived shows and video clips that can be integrated into worship services, and the site’s Educational Resources tab provides material for teachers of religious education.

Krista Tippett’s award-winning radio program, On Being, features in-depth conversations with inspirational people of faith from a variety of spiritual traditions. 

Research and Support Data

The American Theological Library Association is an association of theological libraries and librarians. Through the ATLAS for ALUM program, alumni of member educational institutions are given access to the association’s full-text collection of more than 140 major religion and theology journals.

The Association of Religion Data Archives offers quick access to a wealth of information and data on American and international religion with features such as Quicklists and Quickstats as well as an interactive Religion Timeline. The site’s companion blog, Ahead of the Trend, offers biweekly introductions to the latest news in religion research.  The ARDA is a great source of sermon ideas and sermon-support material.

Additional Resources

Be sure to also explore the many feature articles and links on Insights Into Religion, and for more, visit our' "Best Resources for Worship" section.

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