Handouts and Preaching – Growing a Ministry

Craig Webb at Lifeway has an article where he discusses the use of handouts in preaching. Webb defines a handout as

a sheet of paper you handout to the congregation which helps them follow along with your sermon. It could include the title of your sermon, the main points of your sermon with fill in the blanks, and printed verses of scriptures and scripture references.

Handouts can be helpful to drill in the mind of the congregation the points of the sermon. In addition, it has the added benefit of forcing the preacher to have the sermon essentially finished in time to produce the document and place it in the bulletin.

Handouts Essential for Preachers


While handouts are helpful for pastors, for those of us without a congregation they are essential. It is hard to get a preaching ministry started for most of us. The handout places your ministry just a step above other ones. It provides promotional space for your website, email, and perhaps one of your books. It reminds people what you said and thus reminds them of the experience. As I noted, handouts are helpful for pastors in churches, but they are essential for those of us in other forms of ministry.

So I would encourage you to go look at Webb’s article and see his examples of handouts and begin creating your own to help grow the ministry that God has given to you.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Bennett Yancey - September 2, 2011 Reply

Is it me or does it seem like black churches are not really fond of giving handouts to the congregation? Rick Warren does it and I love it because, if I’m not mistaken, he leaves blanks so that you have to fill them in. I really believe though that black churches should embrace this more, but that would also require doing a total evaluation of black church preaching, which usually doesn’t fit the mold of handouts because it’s mostly about blessings, libration, breakthrough, etc.

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