Homily Builder


Homily Builder is a homily creation tool that lets you quickly create a homily manuscript, a slide presentation, handouts, and discussion questions simultaneously. Focus on your homily content and build out documents for your service at the same time.


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Note: Homily Builder is distinct from the Sermon Starter Guide. While the Sermon Starter Guide provides you with quick access to all of the resources in your Verbum library, the Homily Builder is designed to facilitate the creation of your homily and supplemental documents.


Start a Homily

You can start a homily document from several locations in Verbum, but two deserve special attention:

  • Homily Manager: If you planned your homily with Homily Manager, click the title of your planned homily to open it.
  • Docs Menu: To create a blank homily document, click Docs > New > Homily.


Note: To open a previously-created homily from the Docs menu, filter or search the Docs menu to locate your desired homily. You can also access the Homily Builder via the Tools menu.


Add Homily Info

The Homily Info pane holds important details about your homily. The more metadata you add, the easier it will be for you to find at a later date. If you use Faithlife to publish your homilies, this metadata will help others discover your homily and know what it’s about.


Note: If you don’t see the Homily Info panel, click the info icon to the right of the Publish button to toggle it on.

If you publish your homily to Faithlife Sermons, the homily info you provide is indexed and searchable. Many of the input fields are preloaded with consistent naming conventions, like the topics and reference fields. This helps you stay consistent and avoid duplicate tags.

  • Series: Provide a series title to add the homily to a series. Matching existing series show below as you type.
  • Topics: Begin typing to show predefined biblical topics and themes. Select one from the list to add it to your homily details. You can add multiple topics.
  • Passages: Add a biblical passage by typing and choosing the passage from the list below. You can add multiple passages.
  • Description: Provide a couple of sentences describing the homily’s content.
  • Private Notes: Unlike the other homily metadata, your private notes will not publish to Faithlife Sermons, but are visible to you when viewing the homily in Verbum.
  • Speaker: By default, your name shows for any homilies you create. To change the speaker, provide a new name in the input field.
  • Occasion: Add a date, venue (like a specific church or conference), and time (e.g., 10:00am Service).
  • Audience: Provide audience segments like General Adult, Kids, Youth Group, Conference, or Other.
  • Liturgy: Where applicable, add a liturgical day, season, and year.

Note: To create a template for use in the Homily Manager, select Template at the top of the Homily Info pane. Learn more about the Homily Manager.

You can add notes connected to your homily from the homily notebook tab in the Info pane. Click New note to open the notes tool and add a personal note on your homily. A notebook with the same name as your homily will be created automatically.


Note: Learn more about the Notes tool in Verbum.


Add Homily Content

Ensure the Edit tab is selected to add your content. Start writing your homily by creating homily headings and text on the left. While building your manuscript, you can generate slides, a handout, and a question document simultaneously.

And adding scripture passages to your homily is as easy as typing the reference! When you enter the reference, Verbum will ask if you want to insert the text of the passage in line with your text, or as a text block. To keep things moving, you can quickly insert the passage inline by pressing the Tab key after your reference, or you can insert it as a text block by pressing Enter after your passage.

How it works: As you write, Verbum will automatically create slides and populate your handout and question documents based on the formatting options you select from the formatting toolbar. By default, headers generate slides and are added to your handouts and question documents automatically. Any standalone verses also generate slides automatically. Using the options below, you can create additional slides or add anything to your handout or question document.


The Formatting Toolbar

The formatting toolbar offers a variety of options and works similarly to other word processing software.


  • Text Styles: Choose a text style from the dropdown menu.
    • Normal: Use this style for the text of your homily. Normal text will not automatically appear in slides, handouts, or questions.
    • Heading (1, 2, 3, 4, 5): Verbum will generate slides from each of your headings, as well as include them in your handouts and question documents.
    • Blockquote: Set block quotations apart from the rest of your manuscript text.
    • Illustration: Set your illustration apart from the rest of your manuscript text.
    • Prompt: Set prompts apart from the rest of your manuscript text. Prompts will not be included when you export the transcript of your homily.
  • Formatting Styles: Call special attention to any text in your homily manuscript. Click the styling dropdown to add font, color, and background color styling to selected text. Save any selection as a new style to use it in the future.
  • Text Styling: Style any text with standard formatting options like bold, italics, or underline. You can also create bulleted or numbered lists or change the indentation of any selected text.
  • Fill-in: Select any text and choose Fill-in from the formatting toolbar to generate a fill-in-the-blank style for the text in your printable handouts.
  • Include in Handout : Include text in the handout document by highlighting it and clicking the Handout button. Text included in the Handout document is indicated by a blue background. Selecting this option does not change the appearance of the text when you export it. Deselecting this option will remove the text from your Handout.
  • Include in Questions : Include text in the Question document by highlighting it and clicking the Question button. Text included in the Question document is indicated by a green background. Selecting this option does not change the appearance of the text when you export it. Deselecting this option will remove the text from your Question document.
  • Undo/Redo: Undo to remove the last content change or redo to add a removed content change back into your document.
  • Add Slides from Selected Text : Click to create a slide from any selected text in your homily document.
  • Add Slides from Selected References : If you’ve added a reference within a paragraph, Verbum can generate a Bible slide for that reference if you select the paragraph and click this button.
  • Clear markup: Clear styling on any selected text with the clear markup button.

Note: Bible slides show your preferred Bible by default, though you can change the displayed version from the dropdown.


The Document Toolbar

The document toolbar allows you to switch between the different documents within your homily.


  • Outline: Click the outline menu icon to show an outline of your main headings.
  • Edit: Select the edit tab to add content to your homily document.
  • Text: Display a text-only view of your homily.
  • Slides: Show all of the slides in your homily document.
  • Handout: View your handout. If you have fill-in-the-blank words, you can show or hide answers in your handout. You can print this document from the Publish menu as shown below.
  • Question: View your question document. You can print this document from the Publish menu as shown below.


Style and Edit Slides

To change the styling or the wording for any generated slide, right-click the slide and choose Edit.


To change text displayed on the slide, make changes in the content panel on the left and view your changes live on the right.


Note: You can add animations and other presentation features after exporting your homily to presentation software like Proclaim or Powerpoint.

To change the styling of your slide, click Find Media and filter and search to locate an appropriate background. Select it and choose Update Sermon.


Did you know? You can apply your background style to all slides in your homily by right-clicking the altered slide and choosing Apply Style to All Slides.


Export Your Homily

The Homily Builder provides a variety of export options.


  • Share: Make your homily document public or share it with a group (you can enable group collaboration to allow others in your group to edit the document). Learn more about working with documents.
  • Preach: Enter preaching mode to view a speaker-friendly version of your homily document. Learn more about preaching mode.
  • Publish: View several options to export your homily:
    • Send to Faithlife Proclaim exports your homily slides to Faithlife Proclaim. (Proclaim must be installed on your computer, requires a separate software license.)
    • Post to Faithlife Sermons uploads your homily text, handout, and question document to Faithlife Sermons.
    • Export to PowerPoint sends your homily slides to Microsoft PowerPoint.
    • Print / Export opens a dialog allowing you to print your homily text, copy it to your clipboard, or save it in a variety of file formats, including PDF, HTML, or Word.


Edit or Delete a Homily

You can edit or delete a homily from the Documents menu or the Homily Manager.


Documents Menu

Expand the documents menu and filter, search, or sort to locate your desired homily and open it (to edit) or right-click and click Delete to permanently delete it.


Homily Manager

Open the Homily Manager from the Tools menu and filter, search, or sort to locate your desired homily. Click the homily title to open it (to edit) or select the homily row and scroll to the bottom of the Homily Info panel to delete the homily.


Note: You can delete multiple homilies simultaneously by pressing Ctrl on Windows or Cmd on macOS and selecting multiple homilies (to select adjacent homilies, hold shift and click the first and last homily. With your desired homilies selected, delete the homilies using a method above.

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