Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Source Book by Various Authors
O.S. Hawkins, Editor
Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Source Book is a compiled text written by various authors who are also ministers. The Contents is divided into two sections: sermons and articles. There are 535 pages in these two sections followed by Special Occasion Registries covering forms for Baby Dedications, Baptisms and Confirmations, Funeral Registrations, Funerals Log, Marriage Registrations, Marriages Log, and Sermons Preached. These forms are empty so a Minister may use them for record keeping, I think. This section is followed by NOTES showing where each author obtained references for their topics. The Index is mainly a listing of words and on what pages of the text each word can be found…much like the Concordance is arranged. Last is a CD of the text which can be used by either a MAC or PC.
I have always wanted to read one of these books out of plain curiosity. My question had been, Do preachers really use a book of sermons and outlines to plan their own weekly sermons? Now I knew it could be done, but would not a preacher want his sermons to reflect him/herself and his/her beliefs? However, I can imagine many ways in which this book can be used. A minister can indeed take the book and follow it from page one in planning a whole year’s worth of sermons whether he had to have one, two or even three sermons a week. A preacher could even choose a topic and look up articles and sermons in this book to assist him in putting his thoughts together. My favorite idea is one in which a lay person could take this book and use it as a devotional book. Beginning with the first sermon/article and reading/meditating on one a day would be fantastic for those of us who have studied the Bible in so many ways we may be looking for a different approach.
The thoughts and ideas of the contributors of this source book have given me new insights into scriptures I already understood, but I still appreciated the new thoughts. I have also been able to get new understandings of scriptures which I had not been able to fully understand before. For these reasons I not only recommend this book to ministers, but also to lay people. Read the book. Meditate on what the authors are saying, pray God will open your understanding and enjoy finding out how experienced ministers think and feel. But most of all, enjoy the stronger relationship between you and the Lord Jesus Christ that this book should help develop.