An App for a Vision
Founded by John Stott, the vision of Langham Partnership (LP) is ‘to see churches in the majority world equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through the ministry of pastors and leaders who believe, teach and live by the word of God’. A key means of implementing this vision is ‘equipping local pastors to teach the Bible’ – and this app is a tool birthed for that end.
In particular, the Langham Preaching app was designed for three reasons: i) to help preachers prepare sermons; ii) to help local preaching training groups (or ‘clubs’ in LP terminology) share their sermon outlines; iii) to allow preachers from all over the world to connect.
Teach to Preach
After creating a free account, a simple menu highlights key features, including ‘Sermons’. Essentially here users create a file for each sermon they are preparing. Upon entering the Bible passage, four preparation steps are shown: Passage Study; Passage Structure; Sermon Application; Sermon Structure. As users work through each of these stages, there is a simple grid/form to work through.
For example, in ‘Passage Study’ users are encouraged to note down literature type, author, audience, etc. In ‘Passage Structure’, users make notes on the verses and identify the passage’s ‘Heartbeat’. ‘Sermon Application’ encourages consideration of the congregation, its challenges, relevant illustrations, before ‘Sermon Structure’ unsurprisingly allows a framework to be crafted.
An ‘Outline’ button automatically then selects some of the information entered in those four stages and presents it altogether, giving a helpful and simple overview of the sermon so far. This can then be easily shared with the user’s ‘Preaching club’, and a ‘Chat’ feature allows interaction with club members.
A Tool for Teams
Shearsby Mupfudzapake, a pastor in South Africa and Langham Preaching’s movement coordinator for SA, said, “We are grateful for such a useful tool. The App helps me to organise my thoughts, as per bible passages, leading into well-crafted sermon outlines.”
The LP model involves week-long annual preaching seminars alongside community-based local ‘preaching clubs’. It’s clearly within this model that the app is designed to excel, rather than as a stand-alone input.
However, the app is certainly of benefit to UK-based preachers. Forcing oneself to work through these stages develops and sustains a healthy pattern of sermon pattern. But it also invites preaching to be collaborative as they share progress: the ‘Chat’ and ‘Clubs’ feature could easily be utilised by a church’s preaching team or a cohort of ministry apprentices on a regional training course.
Multi-lingual versions of the app are currently in development and readers can give via Langham’s Seedbed project.
More info on Langham Preaching here.
A version of this article was first published here in the April 2021 Issue of Evangelicals Now and is shared here with permission. EN is a monthly newspaper published in print and online, offering a biblical perspective on current issues and insight on what’s happening with God’s people worldwide. Online subscription is just £10 p/a with print & online combined for just £18. Order a free sample or subscribe here.