Getting Started with Sermon Manager for WordPress

sermon-menuAfter installing Sermon Manager from the WordPress Repository, you’ll see a new top level menu labeled “Sermons”.

If installing for the first time, you’ll also see a notice to view and edit the settings. It’s not necessary to change any settings to start using Sermon Manager, but you will need to at least save the settings.


  • Archive Page Title – If supported by your theme, this will display as the page title of your main sermon listing.
  • Archive Page Slug – By default, all sermons will be displayed at (NOTE: This requires you to select anything other than the default permalinks in Settings → Permalinks). By entering a new slug, you can change the url to something different like: sermon-media, multimedia, etc.
  • Common Base Slug – This is recommended and will probably be made the default in the future. By checking this box,  all sermon urls will include the archive page slug, e.g. sermons/preacher or sermons/series.
  • Enable Template Files – You probably only want to use this if you are using the Twenty Ten theme or a theme based off of it.
  • Disable Sermon Styles – If you are including your own custom styles, you can disable the default styles here.
  • Display audio player or video on archive pages – By default, the media files are only displayed on the single sermon view. Note that this doesn’t work properly with all themes.
  • Verse Popups – You can disable the Scripture passage from displaying when hovering over the verse references. You may want to do this if you are already using a plugin to convert Scripture references to links.
  • Selected Bible Version for Verse Popups – ESV, NET, KJV, or LEB are the currently supported popups for When other versions are added, the plugin will be updated. Note that other versions are supported for links, but these are the only versions available for popups.
Before you start podcasting, you’ll need to fill out the information in this section. Once your Podcast Settings are complete and you have some sermons uploaded, it’s time to Submit Your Podcast to the iTunes Store! The podcast url is shown at the bottom and based on your settings. It will not automatically show up in iTunes, you must submit it.

Uploading Your First Sermon

In the WordPress Dashboard, go to Sermons → Add New.

You’ll start by adding a title, then filling out any other relevant information. It’s not necessary to fill out all of the sermon details, but the date is required.

Service types need to be saved under Sermons → Service Types.

The description can be left blank or used for a transcript of the message. Shortcodes, images, and anything else that can be added in a normal WordPress post can be done here.

Each sermon can have a video, audio file, and notes file.

  • Location of MP3 – If you have already uploaded the audio file to your server or another location, just paste the full file url here. If you need to upload a file; click the “Upload File” button, locate and upload the MP3 file and click the button “use as location of MP3” at the bottom of the file preview area. NOTE: make sure that the file URL option is selected as opposed to the attachment URL option.
  • Video Embed Code – Here you can paste the embed code provided by Vimeo, YouTube, or any similar service. Advanced: If you are hosting your own videos, you can also use a shortcode in this field to display your video. You’ll need to install and activate another plugin to properly play your media file.
  • Sermon Notes – This works just like the MP3 field.
You also have the option to assign a preacher, series, topic, and/or Bible book to each sermon. These fields work just like normal categories and tags on WordPress posts.

It’s possible to add images and descriptions to each of these.

Each sermon can also have a featured image just like a regular post.

Working with Sermon Images

Images can be assigned to preachers, series, and individual sermons. When displaying an image on your site, the first available image will be shown in this priority: featured image on the sermon, series image, and then preacher image.

To add an image to a preacher, go to Sermons → Preachers. Click the + sign or the blank image to upload a new image and associate it with the preacher. Follow the same process to add an image to a sermon series.



Before you can get started with podcasting, you need to publish a few sermons & fill out the podcast settings in Sermons → Settings. There are instructions on that page for testing and submitting your podcast to iTunes.

As of v. 1.9, there are podcast feeds for every series, speaker, Bible book, topic, and service type. Just add /feed/ to the end of the URL.

Displaying Sermons

Visit the if you have permalinks enabled or if not. Or you can use the shortcode [sermons] in any page.

How do I create a menu link?

Go to Appearance → Menus. In the “Custom Links” box add “” as the url and “Sermons” as the label; click “Add to Menu”.

Don’t create a page with the same “slug” you’ve chosen as the archive slug in your Sermon settings. This will cause problems with your permalinks.

Please note that while I am happy to provide Sermon Manager freely to anyone, I’m not able to dedicate time to freely support everyone who uses it. If you need individual support from me, you’ll need to join WP for Church.