Sermon Audio Embedding-more on sermon engagement

Sermon Audio Embedding-more on sermon engagement

Last week, I published episode 60 of The Productive Pastor. It was all about building a sermon engagement strategy and taking your sermon past Sunday and into the next week (and time beyond). All of the content was directed at leveraging the time and power of your sermon for better engagement across your community.

One of the key pieces was the sermon preview. This is an anchor point blog post, with information about the upcoming sermon and resources to engage (links to scripture, discussion guides, etc). As part of the blog post, I shared two resources about sharing your sermon audio. I have had several questions about these two resources, so I wanted to show them side-by-side.

Series Engine
Series Engine is an embedded audio player designed specifically for sharing sermon audio/video in a wordpress site. It offers organization for each series, the ability to upload image files. It also will help you link your sermon audio to iTunes via RSS. I have never used Series Engine for podcasting, but it is possible.

This means you host your audio through your self-hosted wordpress website, not an outside service.

I currently do not use series engine, but it is a fantastic way to publish sermon audio. If you want to do a podcast, you can. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it is totally possible. This is what the Series Engine player looks like embedded (note. I haven’t used it in several years, so this content is dated).

Chad Brooks - Mar 9, 2014

Practicing Prayer

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Smart Podcast Player
I currently use the Smart Podcast Player for both Productive Pastor and for our church’s sermon previews. You can check those out here if you want. What I love about it is how it offers a single track option AND archived episodes in a larger player. It doesn’t offer categorization (for sermon series), but it wasn’t designed for that use case. It requires you to offer hosting at a different host (I recommend libsyn.com) and does NOT generate an RSS feed for you.

For the sake of this post, we will pretend the Productive Pastor is a sermon podcast.

The Smart Track Player

Smart Podcast Player

Both Series Engine and the Smart Podcast Player are designed for self-hosted wordpress sites and use shortcode technology. This makes using and integrating them super easy.

 

Sermon Preview: Casting Crowns

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Did you ever build a fort as a kid? I had a little shack I constructed out of old fence boards. It stayed up for several years and was one of my favorite places. I even stayed the night out in it a few times.

As an adult, I even still fantasize about having a special place. I catch myself researching building sheds and cabins out in the woods. One of my favorite special places is a tiny prayer shack in the middle of the woods outside the Abbey of Gethsemani.

We want special places because we can create special things. Special memories, moments, rituals and gatherings.

Worship should be a created special place.

As we are winding up our study of the disciplines, we come to one of my favorite topics and scripture passages. This week we are going to be talking about worship. To do that, we will use Revelation 4 as our focus passage. This is my absolutely favorite chapter of scripture in the Bible.

Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit,and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God. In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.

In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

Revelation is the perfect place to build a biblical idea of worship. Most of the book is worship. We usually don’t get to realize that because we rarely open up Revelation.

This passage shows us three key things about worship and creating special place.

1. Worship gives us the place to learn about the character of God.
2. Worship gives us the place to see who God is.
3. Worship gives us the place to honor the God we know.

See you this Sunday!

What is a sermon preview?
Sermon previews are released on Friday’s. They are to give YOU a short glimpse of what the conversation is going to be like on Sunday morning. On Monday, the preview is updated with some discussion questions, scripture guide and an mp3 of the sermon. I do these for 2 reasons. The first is so God can continue working in your life throughout the week. The second is for you to share this with a friend. I invite and encourage you to share the preview on Facebook/Twitter and through email.

Sermon Preview: The Power of Confession

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When I was 6 my Mom washed my mouth out with soap because I said a dirty word.

I tried to tell her I learned it from a bathroom wall…but the context I used the word in was a little too correct. Mom knew a 1st grader didn’t really understand the exclamatory proper usage of a cuss word out of sheer ignorance.

There are a few words many church folk would consider dirty. Not because they are “bad”, but they just don’t fit in the nice, proper version of Christianity we are comfortable with. Fasting can be a dirty word (probably because we don’t want to do it).

Confession is a dirty word for several reasons. It might be a Protestant hangup or just unwillingness to admit to what you know isn’t right. No matter the excuse, confession matters.

This Sunday we are talking about confessions integral place in the Christian life and it’s necessity for any move of God.

This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” Mark 1:4-8,14-15

In any mighty move of God, confession is at the beginning.

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Confession is the prerequisite for everything God wants to do in our life.

Confession isn’t what we think it is. Yes, there is an openness to our own sin and faultiness. The openness of confession doesn’t end there (thankfully). Confession is an open admittance of who is in power.

Join us tomorrow in worship as we think about how confession needs to fit in our life.

What is a sermon preview?
Sermon previews are released on Friday’s. They are to give YOU a short glimpse of what the conversation is going to be like on Sunday morning. On Monday, the preview is updated with some discussion questions, scripture guide and an mp3 of the sermon. I do these for 2 reasons. The first is so God can continue working in your life throughout the week. The second is for you to share this with a friend. I invite and encourage you to share the preview on Facebook/Twitter and through email.

Sermon Preview: When the Mundane becomes Marvelous

simple

We don’t live in a world which values simplicity. We find tips and tricks to supposedly enhance simplicity, but it usually just adds steps and complications with a false sense of easy.

Jesus teaches an unlikely message of simplicity to his followers in the midst of solitude. While he goes to the wilderness to find calm, he instead teaches about simplicity of belief and faith to thousands.

As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”

But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”

“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.

“Bring them here,” he said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed. Matthew 14:13-36

If I think of a miracle involving the supernatural multiplication of food, I am really hoping Jesus does something awesome with BBQ ribs. Instead, we get the 1st century equivalent of vienna sausages and crackers. Jesus does amazing things with a simple meal.

Immediately after this miracle he sends his disciples away so he can finish his original mission of prayer and reflection. In the middle of the night Jesus makes His way out to the boat and calls Peter to walk to him on the water (normal..right?). In this interchange Jesus makes a declaration of self which rings across scripture.

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! (v27).

Echoing God’s identity of “I am who I am” in Exodus 3, Jesus asks the disciples to make a decision based off of what he has revealed to them. The disciples can think of their experiences with Christ and realize how powerful he really is.

The simple things matter because they build our idea of who God is.

When we can’t trust the simple we can never expect the big.

See you in worship this Sunday.

Chad Brooks - Mar 9, 2014

Practicing Prayer

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What is a sermon preview?
Sermon previews are released on Friday’s. They are to give YOU a short glimpse of what the conversation is going to be like on Sunday morning. On Monday, the preview is updated with some discussion questions, scripture guide and an mp3 of the sermon. I do these for 2 reasons. The first is so God can continue working in your life throughout the week. The second is for you to share this with a friend. I invite and encourage you to share the preview on Facebook/Twitter and through email.

Sermon Preview: Practicing Prayer

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Over Lent, St. Paul’s is centering our worship and study on Richard Foster’s classic book The Celebration of Discipline. Our first week we are thinking about prayer. It is a perfect way to begin practicing Lent as a church.

Prayer has not come easy to me. I have written about my own practices for prayer around the blog before (here and here). This Sunday our scripture is taken from the beautiful passage in the sermon on the mount when Jesus shares a prayer method with his disciples. It is a great beginning to practicing prayer.

When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:5-15 (NLT)

Many of us grew up in church praying a version of this prayer every week. It might flow over our lips without us every really thinking about it. The Lords Prayer is an easy prayer because we don’t have to figure out what to do. I think the greatest tension for many of us when we think about prayer is figuring out what to do…or how to move away from the basic actions of just checking off prayer requests.

The beauty of the Lord’s prayer is a structure clearly not about the person praying. Instead, this prayer is focused on God, His world, what he is doing and how He helps the believers living in a world waiting for the kingdom.

Prayer builds the walls in God’s house of our heart.

Many of our own personal troubles stem from having a small vision of who God is. It is impossible to have a big view of God without constantly being with him. So what happens is we come into circumstances where we really need him…without us really knowing him. We then default into manipulating God instead of understanding what faithfulness looks like. We try to control God. If we want God to have control over the big things, we need to spend the time in prayer to develop a big vision of who he is.

I’m excited to start this series on Spiritual Disciplines. This will be a great kick off week.

Chad Brooks - Mar 9, 2014

Practicing Prayer

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What is a sermon preview?
Sermon previews are released on Friday’s. They are to give YOU a short glimpse of what the conversation is going to be like on Sunday morning. On Monday, the preview is updated with some discussion questions, scripture guide and an mp3 of the sermon. I do these for 2 reasons. The first is so God can continue working in your life throughout the week. The second is for you to share this with a friend. I invite and encourage you to share the preview on Facebook/Twitter and through email.

Sermon Preview: Overshadow

transfiguration

Do you ever feel like you are missing out? Or perhaps you really just want in?

When I think of the emotions those questions bring to mind, only one thing really sticks out.

 

The classic truffle shuffle. The embodiment of adolescent entry.

This Sunday in worship we are joining with Christians all over the world to celebrate Transfiguration Sunday. It’s a holiday in the church season. Happening each year before Lent, this Sunday lets each of us begin preparing for a season on introspection and examination.

Last week we talked about how large the gospel is. How God is on a big mission and he asks us to be part of it. This week, we are going to talk about the gospel…but how it is narrow.

It’s a paradox, what is large is also small. But I think what makes it so large is because it is very small. In the gospel of Luke Jesus told people to “work hard, because the door to the kingdom is narrow.” It takes a group of committed people to move the gospel forward.

Our scripture is taken from Mark 9:2-8

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.

Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t really know what else to say, for they were all terrified.

Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them.

This story is one of inclusion and exclusion. We find Jesus bringing His inner circle of disciples with him to a special meeting. At this time they are allowed a Holy vision of what the world is really like. For the last several years they have been contemplating who Jesus really is. Even getting the answer right at times. But it is at the transfiguration they are able to see the real truth. They find out God has been protecting them from his own majesty because it is a truly terrifying thing.

The disciples learn something very special during this special moment. They learn what it is like to be overshadowed by God. To be taken over, part of his changing of the world. Just as Luke spoke about the narrow door, the keys to the kingdom are given to those who allow themselves to be overshadowed by the Holy.

See you Sunday for worship. It will be great.

What is a sermon preview?
Sermon previews are released on Friday’s. They are to give YOU a short glimpse of what the conversation is going to be like on Sunday morning. On Monday, the preview is updated with some discussion questions, scripture guide and an mp3 of the sermon. I do these for 2 reasons. The first is so God can continue working in your life throughout the week. The second is for you to share this with a friend. I invite and encourage you to share the preview on Facebook/Twitter and through email.

Chad Brooks - Mar 9, 2014

Practicing Prayer

More From "Celebration of Discipline"

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