How to Use the Sermon Starter Guide for a Topical Study

Recently, I had a Bible study leader contact me with the following scenario:

Sometimes I want to teach a topical lesson, but I’m not sure which verses in the Bible discuss the subject. Is there a straightforward way, in the software, to discover relevant verses?

Excellent question. And the answer is, Yes!, several times over. As I often tell Camp Logos attendees, there are six ways to do most everything in Logos.

Today’s blog, however, only describes one way to locate passages about a subject which is using the Sermon Starter Guide. Before looking at the instructions please keep a couple of things in mind.

First, don’t let the title fool you. You don’t have to be preparing a sermon to benefit from this helpful tool. It assists with Bible lessons and even personal study.

Also, understand what Preaching Themes are. The creators of Logos Bible Software have identified over 200 popular preaching themes (topics) and tagged biblical passages related to those subjects. The Sermon Starter Guide then quickly lists those verses connected to a theme.

Now let’s take a look at the Guide by imagining we want to teach a lesson about stress:

  • Choose Guides | Sermon Starter Guide
  • Type stress in the Preaching theme box (A)
  • Click Stress Theme in the drop down list (B)

  • Navigate to the Passages section (C)
  • Notice:
    • Key Passages which are verses related to the topic under study (D)
    • Pericopes which are sections in the Bible related to the theme (E)
    • Save as Passage List which creates a new Passage List document containing all of the verses in both the Key Passages and Pericopes sections (F)
    • Open 88 passages in “preferred Bible” which displays in your preferred Bible only the verses in the Key Passages and Pericopes sections (G)

It’s important to remember the Sermon Starter Guide works with about 230 Preaching Themes. This means not every subject under the sun is available in the Guide. In other words, if you want to build a report for Mother’s Day, you’ll have some help. If you want to build a report for Groundhog Day, you’re on your own! I think, however, for most biblical subjects, you’ll find the Guide very helpful.

For more information about the Sermon Starter Guide, please check out the Logos 7 Bible Software Training Manual Bundle available in both print and digital formats.

Also, for an exciting and quick way to learn the software, consider coming to one of our Camps in Little Rock, AR, Tampa, FL, Atlanta, GA, Akron, OH, or Phoenix, AZ!


Morris Proctor
is a certified trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.