Sermon Builder allows you to write your sermon and quickly create slides, handouts, and questions. It is flexible and designed to help you, regardless of your approach to writing sermons. Feel free to use whatever features you find helpful, and skip those that are not.
Note: Sermon 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 Sermon Document is designed to facilitate the creation of your sermon and supplemental documents.
Start a Sermon Document
You can start a Sermon by clicking Docs > New > Sermon. Sermons you’ve already written will appear in the main pane of the Docs menu. You can also access the Sermon Builder via the Tools menu.
The Sermon Builder has two toolbars at the top of the panel:
- The main document toolbar has a selector for showing different views of the document, and the Export... button to export, print, or save the content of the currently selected view.
- The formatting toolbar has buttons for setting the style and formatting within the document.
To start writing your sermon:
- Enter basic information about your sermon by filling in the text boxes for title, author, audience, etc. This is especially important if you plan to share your sermon using Faithlife Sermons or Faithlife Groups. After you’ve finished entering this information, click Done with sermon info.
- Start writing your sermon by creating sermon headings and text. The text body of the Sermon Builder works similarly to other word processing software. 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.
The Formatting Toolbar
The Formatting toolbar allows you to format your sermon, create slides, designate what appears in your Handout and Question documents, and create speaker markup.
- Selecting Fill-in turns the selected text into a fill-in-the-blank entry in your handout. (Handout and/or Question must also be selected.)
- Use styles to organize and format your document by clicking the Style dropdown menu. Styles determine how your sermon will appear when you export it.
- Normal: Use this style for the text of your sermon. Normal text will not automatically appear in slides, handouts, or questions.
- To create a slide from normal-styled text, select the text. right-click it, then click the Add Slide icon.
- To create a Handout or Question document from normal text, select the text. Then click the appropriate button on the formatting toolbar.
- 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 sermon.
- 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.
- Question: 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.
- Create a slide from highlighted text by clicking the Add Slide from selected text icon.
- Create a slide from a biblical passage by clicking the Add slide from selected references icon.
- You can mark up your sermon using the Speaker drop-down menu. Changes you make using this menu will not appear in your slides, handout, question document, or when you export your sermon.
- Use the View drop-down menu to set what is visible to you as you write your sermon. You can view/hide slides, speaker markup, and the sermon outline.
The Document Toolbar
The document toolbar allows you to switch between the different documents within your sermon:
- All displays and allows you to edit everything in your sermon. (Editing is only allowed in the All view.)
- Text displays a text-only view of your sermon.
- Slides displays all of the slides in your sermon.
- Handout displays the appearance of your handout.
- Question displays the appearance of your question document.
- Export… provides you with several options to export your sermon.
- Send to Faithlife Proclaim exports your sermon slides to Faithlife Proclaim. (Proclaim must be installed on your computer, requires a separate software license.)
- Post to Faithlife Sermons uploads your sermon text, handout, and question document to Faithlife Sermons.
- Export to PowerPoint sends your sermon slides to Microsoft PowerPoint.
- Print / Export opens a dialog allowing you to print your sermon text, copy it to your clipboard, or save it in a variety of file formats.
Working with Slides
The Sermon Builder generates slides from each of the headings and biblical passages in your sermon.
As noted above, you can create a slide from normal text or from a biblical citation by highlighting it and clicking the Add slides from selected text icon or the Add slide from selected reference icon.
You can format any slide by clicking on it, then selecting Edit. A new media window will appear providing you with options for formatting your slide. You can apply your changes to all other slides, or all other slides of the same type by clicking on the slide and selecting Apply this style to all slides or apply this style to heading [or passage] slides. Delete a slide by clicking on it and selecting Delete.
Working with the Handout Document
The Handout document is generated from your sermon headings and any text that you designate for the handout (by selecting the text and clicking the Handout button). You can remove a heading or text from your handout by selecting it and toggling the Handout button in the toolbar.
- You can create fill-in-the-blank sections in your handout by highlighting the word or phrase to be filled in and clicking the Fill-in button.
- You can preview your handout by clicking the Handout button in the Documents toolbar. Show or hide answer to fill-in-the-blanks by clicking the Hide answers button.
Working with the Question Document
The Question document is generated from your sermon headings and any text that you designate for the question document (by selecting the text and clicking the Question button). You can remove a heading or text by selecting it and toggling the Question button in the toolbar. You can preview your handout by clicking the Question button in the Documents toolbar.
Sharing your sermon
You can share your sermon with one or more Faithlife.com groups by clicking the Panel menu icon and selecting Manage document sharing. This will open the online Verbum document manager in a new internet browser window.