It’s no longer enough for musicians to release a new song or album. There is money to be milked from the consumer by releasing a “box set” containing multiple vinyl albums or CDs from an established artist with a deep vault. These albums contain the five rehearsal tracks deemed not worthy of release, the 17 instrumental riffs on one of the songs, a snippet of a radio commercial featuring the artist, the musician’s failed effort to sing two octaves higher or lower than his/her range, a demo track of a song that never made the Top 100 list and maybe a 15-second track of the artist sneezing.

Dredged from the musty catacombs, these rarities have been reworked by a sound engineer who never picked up a musical instrument in his/her life. Attractively packaged the box often includes a booklet tossed in for good measure.

It is time for a pastor to jump on the boxed set bandwagon. Here’s how that might play out:

Famous preacher and columnist releases box set of sermons

The Reverend Joe (Holy Joe) Jones, in conjunction with Sermons Forever LLC, has announced the first-ever box set of his sermons. Entitled “The First Ten Years of Preachifying,” this gift will inspire and/or stultify listeners for years.

This 10-CD collection contains 50 sermons per year, beginning with Jones’ student preaching days. A bonus CD includes archival talks at civic clubs and elementary school graduations.

Because this esteemed homiletician deemed some sermons from his student days as worthy of repeating, the listener can compare these repeat sermons. In one sermon, for instance, Jones preached 33 seconds longer the second time around, correcting the mispronunciations of the Biblical names Azariah and Jehoshaphat.

Listeners can also hear one sermon so wretched that this perceptive pastor knew immediately after stepping from the pulpit he’d laid an egg never to be preached again. That sermon, although challenging listening, documents the progress (perhaps) of this budding young pastor.

Included in this set is an invaluable 50-page book with sermon illustrations that never made it into the sermons. Also included are six half-written sermons, a whiny letter defending the preacher from a parishioner’s complaint, and a note from the pastor’s son begging father to cease using the child in sermon illustrations.

This attractively packaged box includes an endorsement from one of Jones’ seminary professors, who writes, “I well remember the first sermon Jones ever preached in the classroom setting. Every student in class was asleep within five minutes. To trace the progress of this master pulpiteer is truly miraculous.”

A second box set is in the production stage, bonus material to include blooper church announcements and Jones’ Top 10 benedictions. Although the rare sounds of laughter have been retained on the soundtracks, sound engineers have eliminated the occasional clearing of the throat and the irritating sound of crying babies.

Note: Some readers will think this columnist has gone daft, but who thought we’d be installing solar panels and ordering electric cars. I’m working on my inaugural offering.

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Email Creede Hinshaw at

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