Free sermons and illustration databases designed especially for Evangelical Christian workers
Many pastors are befuddled about how to put together the Kerux Sermon and Illustration Database, and how to maintain it once you are using it. It is a two-step process: first you install the database program, then you install the content (illustrations and sermons). Go here for instructions on installing the database program of your choice (SID or Access).
The basic setup file has only a few sermons and illustrations so you can get a feel for how it operates. You definitely want to add more content to it, and this is where sets and supplements come in. Sets are the basic collection of sermons and illustrations. Supplements are special collections or updated material.
The procedure for installing the content is not difficult:
the sets and supplements you want.
2. Unzip them and store them in a directory you can find.
3. Open the database program and start the Update process:
a. For SID, click the Import button on the menu bar.
b. For Access, click the "Update the Database" button on the Intro pop-up screen.
4. With either program, browse to find where your sets are stored and select one of them. The rest is automatic.
5. Continue with each set until they are all done.
For new users, I would recommend downloading and installing the mega-database since it involves a single file. To build it on your own, use these files:
database installation (SID or Access)
b. Illustration sets (4 files, or one mega-file)
d. Annual illustration supplements (new and modified) for the previous year (only if they are more recent than your illustration sets)
c. Sermon sets (16+)
e. Annual sermon supplements (new and modified) for the previous year (only if they are more recent than your sermon sets)
Issues with updates
Installing sets and supplements can take a long time (for those who demand instant gratification) but the entire database can be installed in under a half hour. In Access, if you get the message "Database has reached maximum size" do not despair; just click Tools on the menu bar, then Database Utilities, then Compact. Sometimes it helps to close the program and launch it again to refresh the memory.
It is very important to add material in the correct order, otherwise you will overwrite recent material with out-dated material. Note the date on the file. Generally, sets are updated less frequently, and annual supplements are current for the last day of that year.
Established users might want to download the standard sets again and reinstall them to fill in gaps, since older sets had some gaps. During the update in January 2007 I discovered over 1,000 sermons that were missed by all the sets; these are contained in the Sermon_set16a (when full, the "a" will be dropped off). Just remember: sets first, then annual supplements. You do not need to add the Holiday sets or or supplements that pre-date an annual supplement.
Do you have big gaps in the material? Sometimes it is because records are Restricted and I do not distribute them. To compare your material with a master list, download this zipped text file: Kerux_master_lists.zip
Protect your own material
Many people add their own illustrations and sermons to the database and this website's material will never bother with that - as long as you do not add a HolwickID (or Holw-serm-ID) number to your own records. If you do add such a number, make it a very big one, like 500,000+.
It is a different issue if you modify existing Kerux records. If do an update, the Kerux update will overwrite what you have done. You have two options: check off the "Do Not Update" box for those records and they won't be touched. Or, if you are an Access user, before doing the update put the new supplement material into the New table and click the Compare button on the Main Menu Screen (1024 and up). You will be able to view the existing records side-by-side with the new material and delete what you do not want.
Remember, if you put a lot of time into this database (as I have) you should make regular backups of the entire database. At the very least, backup your own material because I cannot replace that.
Rev. David Holwick
June 22, 2009