How Do You Use Logos: Dave Moser

Dave MoserToday’s guest post is from Dave Moser, an MDiv student at Westminster Theological Seminary who blogs about Christ-centered Bible study at

The sermon process begins with the Bible and ends in the heart.

Every preacher is different. Some are counselors; others are theologians. Some have trouble discerning the meaning of the text; others have trouble applying the text to the heart. I’m in the latter class: I love the truth of God’s Word, but I’m often unsure how to help it speak to others.

Here’s the three-step process I use in Logos to jump-start application:

The basic idea is to search all my counseling, discipleship, and Christian-living books for the passage I’m preaching on, so I can see how all the authors in my library apply it to everyday life.

Step 1: create an “application” collection

Logos allows you to group your library based on rules. If I want to add all my counseling resources to a collection, I can just type “subject:counseling”—the collection will contain every book I own on the subject. Here’s the rule I developed for my application collection:

subject:(discipleship, “christian life”, “pastoral care”, counsel, “spiritual growth”, sanctification, formation, holiness) OR (title:grow ANDNOT title:church)

I’m including books on counseling, discipleship, and Christian living because those are the books that deal with practical, everyday issues.

Here’s what it looks like in Logos:

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

That’s 273 relevant books I can search to better connect with my audience!

To learn more, check out the collections tutorial on the Logos wiki.

Step 2: add the application collection to the Passage Guide

The Passage Guide is the one of Logos’ most helpful tools. It brings up all your commentaries on a given passage, shows you related images, and provides a lot of additional information.

You can modify the passage guide to 1.) include any collection you’ve created and 2.) show only results from that collection. Here’s part of what my application collection returns for Rom. 6:1–14:

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Every time I run my Passage Guide, I’ll be greeted with a similar list showing every place my passage shows up in my application resources.

For further reading, visit the Customizing the Passage and Exegetical Guides tutorial.

Step 3: apply the passage

Now it’s time to use these resources. Logos has all my matching books open to the right pages, so I can see all the ways my passage connects to day-to-day life. Here’s a sample:

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

In just a few moments, I’ve learned how this passage can be powerful in the lives of:

  • Perfectionists
  • Addicts
  • Judgmental Christians
  • People considering divorce
  • Victims of abuse stuck in negative behavioral patterns

And that’s just the beginning. I never would have thought of all these application points on my own.

Not only did I find potential points of contact with my audience’s lives—if you look in the bottom left of the screenshot, you’ll notice that I also found a few great quotes and a hymn that pertains to the passage.

Now I have tons of ways to connect the Bible to my listeners. I can season the sermon with lines like, “If you’ve been dealing with an addiction . . .” or “If something’s hurt you and you feel like you can’t get out of a rut . . .,” and people will start to recognize just how relevant this passage is to their lives.

This quick search helps me do more effective ministry.

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  1. Talk about helpful! Yes! I will use this information. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. John Coelho says

    Thank you Dave. It was just what I needed.

  3. Clint Scott says

    Thanks for this Dave, this is really good. I love that we were able to just copy the search string you used to make our own copy of this collection…it works… really practical.

  4. Kirke Holmes says

    Very helpful! Thanks Dave and Logos for sharing this with us. I did and ,"pastoral care" to the title section of your rule, as it wasn't catching all my pastoral care resources. But, thanks again. I would have never thought to do this on my own, and like you I need help in the application department.

  5. Great, great tip. Thanks.

  6. James-Billie Schafer says

    Thanks Dave, very good tip!!

  7. Excellent post!! Very helpful! Thank you so much!!

  8. Scot Tomlinson says

    I have just added this collection, and added Kirke's additional tip! Thank you both.

  9. Barry Kurst says

    is it possible to get a run down of the logic you used while developing this rule. Especially why you put in that last bit? ' OR (title:grow ANDNOT title:church)' Im a new logos user and like to get a better understanding of the command structure and syntax so that I can use my resources fully when researching for a sermon or research paper at Uni.

    • Barry,
      I did want to get books that spoke about personal growth but I didn’t want books about “church growth” because the leadership strategies found in those books won’t really help me make the passage come alive in the life of the average hearer.
      God bless!

  10. Hey Dave, same problem I've had for years, and now "boom", problem solved. Thanks!

  11. Thanks Dave for sharing!!