The only tool like Sermonary that I’m aware of is the Logos Sermon Editor in Logos 7. Sermonary’s Kickstarter campaign was funded so quickly, proving there is a need for something better than Word for preachers to type out sermons.
I backed Sermonary and have been able to play with it for several weeks, and I have been using the Logos Sermon Editor tool for a while now. So, I took notes as I used them side by side and am sharing them here to help other preachers determine what could be helpful for them. Keep in mind that I’m just a simple preacher and do not understand all the technical details of a software platform.
I’ve organized this review into 3 categories: Accessibility, Writing, and Additional Resources.
- PRO: Can edit and access everything from any device.
- CON: Being web-based only has limitations. When they are in maintenance mode on the website, I can’t access my content. And that was VERY inconvenient, especially for a pastor who has a tight schedule with specific times carved out for specific tasks.
- PRO: Not web-based, so you can access it on your computer even without internet connection. Still, everything syncs across devices.
- CON: Cannot edit on every device. Editing is only possible on the computer. You can view your sermon on every device, but not edit.
Both programs store files on their servers, not taking up space on your computer.
- PRO: The templates, called Block Editor (already existing templates and you can create your own), are excellent for helping write well. You will be sure to include transitions and other important elements that are easy to overlook on a Word document. If the block editor is restrictive for you or you just don’t like it, you can choose to use the Standard Editor, which is just like a Word document. You can still include headers, and you have all the same formatting options.
- CON: If you change the editor from Block to Standard on the same sermon after you have content typed in, the content does not transfer. The content seems to only stay in the editor mode where you originally typed.
- PRO: The sermon ideas section is a nice feature. Sure, you could set up an Evernote notebook for this purpose, or possibly even a note within Logos, but it is nice to have everything in one place.
- PRO: You can indent bullets and regular paragraphs at different levels. Sermonary does not offer this feature. You can use bullets but only at one level.
- PRO: Speaker Notes. I use these every week. I like to give illustrations a blue background color, and notes to self (“Read the passage here…”) a red background color. There are many options here for what you need. However, Sermonary naturally separates all of these elements out and even lets you choose to hide certain elements during podium mode. Sermonary does not, however, include as many options as Logos for this task of speaker notes. Sermonary just added the feature to highlight and change text color, but it does not offer saved formats with background colors or other options.
- CON: The spell check feature just does not seem to work right. I’ve never been impressed with it. Whereas, Sermonary uses Grammarly or other spell checking programs in your browser.
- CON: Cannot use voice dictation. I’ve had to use my phone’s Notes app, which syncs with the laptop immediately, then copy and paste to Logos. It’s almost not worth it.
Both use different header styles and your basic word processing tools (bold, italic, etc.).
Logos Sermon Editor is connected to your Logos library, which can be massive. Another nice feature in Logos is that your sermons will appear in your searches. You might have forgotten that you preached on a certain topic, but your search will show it and will help you remember how you handled a certain text in the past.
Sermonary probably isn’t designed to be like Logos in this regard, but its resources are very useful for making writing easier and better. Being able to include illustrations and commentary is valuable. Some illustrations can be added to your library for free, and you can purchase resources from Sermonary (I don’t believe any are included in the subscription).
One major limitation of Sermonary in this category is being able to quickly insert Bible verses. Logos has the copy Bible verses tool with many options for exporting a verse or passage. Hopefully, preachers are inserting Scripture into their sermons!
If you don’t own Logos 7 with the sermon editor tool, then Sermonary is definitely worth subscribing to. Nothing else like it exists. You’ll be better organized in writing your sermons, have access to some resources if you choose, and have a great “live preaching” tool with your device (although if you can’t rely on internet service while preaching, I’m not sure I would risk Sermonary since it is web-based).
If you already have Logos 7, then stick with it. While Sermonary has nice features, there is nothing there outside of podium mode that warrants a complete switch over.
Whatever you use to write sermons, preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2)!