New Feature: Sermon Editor

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Jacob Cerone | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Aug 20 2016 4:22 PM

What is it? A new “Sermon” document type that can be created and opened from the Documents menu.

This document defines a set of document-like artifacts that cluster around single speech presentation given during a church service. These artifacts are:

  • The text of the sermon, which for some scenarios will simply be the body of the speaker’s notes (or outline headings) meant to be read only by themselves, but for the primary scenario, will be a transcript of the words the preacher intends to speak, minus any internal private notes.

What is it for? The Sermon document interacts with the larger Faithlife ecosystem that already exists to support sermon presentation (Proclaim), provide public access to that sermon (Soundfaith), and informs a group of the sermon's existence (Faithlife Groups).

The Sermon document allows the author(s)to organize their thoughts into a document using a familiar word processing interface (not unlike Google documents). During the sermon, this document can either have been exported to Proclaim, PowerPoint, or to rich text for use in other word processing and desktop publishing software. After the sermon's delivery, the document is archived locally and can be searched by its content or metadata.

How does it work? The Sermon document is a standard Logos document type, so it works like any other Logos document, including sync. 

How do you use it?

The Sermon document operates much like a standard word processing application:

  • Add new paragraphs by hitting ENTER, type or paste text into them, and style those paragraphs with heading styles, block quote styles, and so on. 

 However, it has some special and unique features

  • Editing slides, handouts, and questions
  • Exporting directly to sermon-friendly tools 
  • Auto-detection of Bible references. Type ‘Gen 1:1’ in a normal paragraph, and a hyperlink to your preferred Bible will automatically be inserted.
  • Auto-insertion of Bible references as “cards.” Type ‘Gen 1:1’ on its own line and then hit ENTER, and the text of Genesis 1:1 will be retrieved from your preferred Bible and inserted as a new specially-styled paragraph in place of the reference you just typed.
  • Auto-extraction of Bible reference cards from typed or pasted text. Type a paragraph that has some Bible references in it. Then select across one or more of those references, and hit the “Insert reference cards from selection” button in the toolbar, and the text of each reference will be retrieved from your preferred Bible and inserted as a new card after the paragraph in question. 
  • Auto-inclusion of slides where you probably want them. When you make a new heading, a slide with that heading text is automatically inserted.
  • Manual inclusion of more slides if you want them. You can also select text from the manuscript and press the “Insert slide from selection” and a new slide will be created
  • “Smart art” templates. Double-click on any slide to open that slide in the Media tool (was Visual Copy) and edit your slide’s content or style. Hit the “Update sermon” button in the Media tool to post that change back to your sermon document.
  • “Clippings” from Logos resources. Pasting text from a Logos resource into a non-empty paragraph will just paste the text (along with an auto-citation, if your settings imply that). Pasting text from a Logos resource into an empty paragraph will add a Clipping-like card for that text to the Sermon document. (User interface for converting the clipping card to regular text is in the works, but probably won’t make it by 7.0 launch. Pro tip: If you want just a new paragraph with some Logos content, type a space first, then paste, then delete the space.)
  • Metadata, including topics covered, key passages, sermon summary/description, audience type, and so on. All searchable.

In a general sense, the ideal use case/scenario goes like this: 

  • Having researched using Logos Bible Software for a coming sermon, a pastor begins crafting the sermon with the Sermon Document
  • Ideally, the pastor will write out a full manuscript, inserting headings at various levels (1–5), which will constitute the sermon's outline
  • Creating a single manuscript with the Sermon Document automatically edits multiple documents all together at once:
    • The sermon manuscript
    • the sermon presentation consisting of a set of slides
    • a “handout” to be printed and included as a bulletin insert (if any) or in the Faithlife Groups bulletin (if set up)
    • a set of study or reflection “questions” meant to be printed and given out to small groups for further discussion, or to be posted online as a document for discussion group homework or personal reflection during the week.
  • All of these artifacts share a common structure, that is, the set of headings that defines the sermon’s outline that appears in the sermon manuscript also appears in the slide list, the handout, and the questions. Thus, some paragraphs within the main sermon document editor will belong to the manuscript, some to the handout, and some to the questions. Slides that align on the left margin belong to the slide presentation. This is a key distinctive of the Sermon Editor feature in L7. It’s also fairly unusual as document editing software goes, as it requires thinking about how to edit four things at once. Under each heading, there may be some sermon text, some passages to print in the handout, some slides to show, and some questions having to do with the same topics and ideas addressed by that section of the sermon. Having these all in the same place is a convenient way to fulfill all your sermon related needs.
  • Once the artifacts have been edited and previewed, they can be exported. This feature is intended to “work best” with Proclaim (and Soundfaith and Faithlife Groups), so it is easy to send the sermon to a Proclaim presentation with one click. The resulting slide presentation can be further edited. 
  • The sermon manuscript with its attendant metadata can be posted to Soundfaith with one click, and handouts and questions can be printed or exported to rich text for further manipulation in a word processing program of choice.
Posts 607
Tim Hensler | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 5:55 AM

How do you identify the answer to a question while creating a sermon so it can be hidden or displayed on the handout?

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 6:07 AM

Tim Hensler:
How do you identify the answer to a question while creating a sermon so it can be hidden or displayed on the handout?

Select the answer text and then click "fill-in" from the popup menu

Posts 615
Jonathan | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:15 AM

Jacob Cerone:

What is it? 

I noticed that your screenshot is exposing another new document type that is not available in Logos 7. I am wondering if its possible that this was inadvertant?

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John Kight | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:19 AM

Jonathan:

Jacob Cerone:

What is it? 

I noticed that your screenshot is exposing another new document type that is not available in Logos 7. I am wondering if its possible that this was inadvertant?

Morph Grid?

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Posts 607
Tim Hensler | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:28 AM

Thank you, Graham.  This is REALLY cool.  Using a series of "question" fields (each line on the example below), I was able to create a question with 4 multiple choice answers, with indication of which was correct as the "fill-in" answers that can be hidden on the Handout.

WOW - the possibilities...

Thank you Faithlife.

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GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:28 AM

Thank you for this explanation Jacob. For me, this is a great addition to the product. One question - will the Sermon document be available on the mobile versions of the software? I usually take a paper Bible and iPad into the pulpit with me, and preach from the iPad, so it is only of real use if it is synced to the iPad and available to me to read on it. 

At first glance, and a little bit of playing around, this appears to fill in a number of the gaps in my preaching workflow that are currently covered by running between apps and copying/pasting: I really like it. If it fills in the gap of allowing me to preach from my iPad as well, that would be fantastic. 


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Posts 607
Tim Hensler | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:34 AM

Hi Jonathan,

Jonathan:
I noticed that your screenshot is exposing another new document type that is not available in Logos 7.

This is a Logos Now function. All the lines marked with an asterisk at https://community.logos.com/forums/t/129206.aspx require Logos Now (including Sermon Editor).

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Jacob Cerone | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:40 AM

Jonathan:
I noticed that your screenshot is exposing another new document type that is not available in Logos 7.

I apologize for the confusion. That document is a tool that we are currently developing and working on. It is not a part of Logos 7. I have removed that screenshot and updated accordingly.

Posts 615
Jonathan | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:41 AM

John Kight:

Morph Grid?

Yes, that's what I was referring to. I was trying to be subtle though in case they were intending to keep that under wraps for some reason.

Tim Hensler:

Hi Jonathan,

Jonathan:
I noticed that your screenshot is exposing another new document type that is not available in Logos 7.

This is a Logos Now function. All the lines marked with an asterisk at https://community.logos.com/forums/t/129206.aspx require Logos Now (including Sermon Editor).

I'm a Logos Now subscriber, but don't have access to the Morph Grid document type.

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Jacob Cerone | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:42 AM

Tim Hensler:

This is a Logos Now function. All the lines marked with an asterisk at https://community.logos.com/forums/t/129206.aspx require Logos Now (including Sermon Editor).

The asterisk in that post represents features new to the Logos 7 release. 

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 7:51 AM

Tim Hensler:
 This is REALLY cool.  Using a series of "question" fields (each line on the example below), I was able to create a question with 4 multiple choice answers, with indication of which was correct as the "fill-in" answers that can be hidden on the Handout.

Yes - it is very nice. And it extends very nicely when creating and exporting slides.

I included the following line in a sermon document (all on one line at the moment as automatic generation of slides doesn't work across multiple lines at the moment so I can't quite reproduce your example)

Then when I export the slides to Proclaim or PowerPoint three separate slides are generated automatically (you can see that there are three slides indicated in the sermon document). The screenshot below is from PowerPoint

I think this is very niceSmile

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LogosEmployee

GregW:
One question - will the Sermon document be available on the mobile versions of the software? I usually take a paper Bible and iPad into the pulpit with me, and preach from the iPad, so it is only of real use if it is synced to the iPad and available to me to read on it. 

The sermon document is not yet available on mobile, but we know this is something a lot of people will want to see.

In the meantime, if you have WiFi in your church, you could Export your sermon document to SoundFaith.com then load that on your iPad. (With the latest iPad, you can put Safari and Logos Bible side-by-side to have a Bible text up too.) 

This workaround isn't perfect (not all the Bible links open in the Bible app, it doesn't have an optimised reading view, etc.) but those are issues we want to address (and we're interested in any other feedback you have about the experience on SoundFaith).

Posts 800
GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 8:00 AM

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):

GregW:
One question - will the Sermon document be available on the mobile versions of the software? I usually take a paper Bible and iPad into the pulpit with me, and preach from the iPad, so it is only of real use if it is synced to the iPad and available to me to read on it. 

The sermon document is not yet available on mobile, but we know this is something a lot of people will want to see.

In the meantime, if you have WiFi in your church, you could Export your sermon document to SoundFaith.com then load that on your iPad. (With the latest iPad, you can put Safari and Logos Bible side-by-side to have a Bible text up too.) 

This workaround isn't perfect (not all the Bible links open in the Bible app, it doesn't have an optimised reading view, etc.) but those are issues we want to address (and we're interested in any other feedback you have about the experience on SoundFaith).

Thank you for the quick response Bradley - I can also print/export it to Word, which is what I'll probably do. We don't have reliable wifi at our church building, so I like to be certain I've got the full notes with me before I start. I'll probably continue to do that until syncing with the iPad is available. It still saves me the trouble of compiling sermon files as Personal books and putting the data table into it before importing it to Excel! Being a cautious sort of guy I will probably also continue to save my sermon files as Word documents anyway in the short term. 


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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 8:02 AM

GregW:
Thank you for the quick response Bradley - I can also print/export it to Word, which is what I'll probably do

And once you have it in a Word document you can import into a Logos Notes document and then use that in the Bible app on the iPad.

This allows having Notes on one half of a split screen and a Bible open on another.

Again - not perfect - but a good way of working for now.

Posts 333
Clint Cozier | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 11:24 AM

Wow.....sermon editor is a great idea, but I've got an additional (important) step in my workflow. I've become a huge fan of mind mapping tools to structure sermons and lessons. For a while, I used markdown to outline using headings (as per the editor) in a text editor before writing but about a year ago started using mind mapping software to work through my initial structure. I'd love for the sermon editor to be able to import an OPML file from a mind mapping application into the editor.

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Eli Evans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 11:33 AM

Clint Cozier:
For a while, I used markdown to outline using headings (as per the editor) in a text editor before writing but about a year ago started using mind mapping software to work through my initial structure. I'd love for the sermon editor to be able to import an OPML file from a mind mapping application into the editor.

We'll have someone evaluate OPML. Thanks for the suggestion!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 12:26 PM

Clint Cozier:
I'd love for the sermon editor to be able to import an OPML file from a mind mapping application into the editor.

Yes

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Posts 330
Abram K-J | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 12:50 PM

Great idea, Clint. The Sermon Editor is really tempting to incorporate into my workflow (especially on those Sundays when I use visuals), but I'd never leave mind mapping. :)

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Posts 137
Eleanor Emmott | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 22 2016 4:17 PM

This looks great!  

Eventually it would be nice to have a quick way to view the outline of the sermon.

I see that I can do that by adding every heading to the handout, but it would be nice to have a way to do that automatically or have an additional tab that is automatically populated with the outline based on the headings.

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