Rebecca Snippe on Zeteosearch.org
Preachers, worship leaders, teachers, and others who study the Bible often go online to find resources for their research. Sorting through search results is often frustrating. But Zeteosearch.org—a revamped curated search engine—offers thought-provoking results.
Rebecca (Becky) Hoeksema Snippe, a Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) program manager, focuses on music-related projects and web-related products, including Zeteosearch.org (formerly PreachingandWorship.org). She also provides administrative leadership for CICW’s central office support team. She was co-managing editor of the 2019 bilingual hymnal Santo, Santo, Santo / Holy, Holy, Holy. In this edited conversation, Snippe talks about the recently relaunched and rebranded Zeteosearch.org, a curated search engine for preachers, worship leaders, and others who study and teach the Bible.
How do you pronounce Zeteo?
The Greek word Zeteo is pronounced zah-TAY-oh. ζητέω (Zeteo) means to seek in order to find; to seek by thinking, meditating, or reasoning; to seek after or desire; or to worship. Preaching and worship are all about seeking God’s truth for our lives. We preach God’s good news to a broken world; we sing the good news of salvation to those seeking hope. This Greek verb appears in the New Testament 115 times. Two examples are “But seek (ζητέω) first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33, NIV) and “Ask and it will be given to you; seek (ζητέω) and you will find” (Matt. 7:7, NIV).
Organized by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Zeteosearch.org helps people seek out resources for whatever they’re doing—preparing a sermon, planning worship, teaching a class, or studying to deepen their faith—and find inspiration from and for a range of Christian church traditions.
Why wouldn’t most preachers simply rely on Google to seek preaching resources?
If you look online for resources to prepare a sermon, plan worship, teach a class, or study to deepen your faith, you’ve probably noticed the search results yield a lot of chaff. The name Zeteosearch.org signals that with this search engine you not only seek, but can actually find resources that may enhance your sermon, worship service, or class.
Unlike popular search engines, we provide thought-provoking content that’s cataloged by topic, with the aim of inspiring the user’s creativity. We believe that, despite differences among churches, we share a common longing for our congregations to know God and live lives inspired by the Word.
What’s the same and different between the new Zeteosearch.org and its predecessor, PreachingandWorship.org?
Zeteosearch.org is a rebranding of PreachingandWorship.org, the website we’ve been working on since about 2014. Thanks to funding from the Lilly Endowment, we’ve been able to make advancements in our search engine. The new search engine will filter and function like a library search engine, so it’s easier for users to find what they need. These new advanced search capabilities will be apparent when we go live in 2023.
In addition to creating the site’s new look and layout, we have done significant work on the back end of the website and the data that powers the search engines.
Zeteosearch.org, like PreachingandWorship.org, includes Resource Guides—pages of unique content that explain terms, worship service elements, and different parts of the church year. They also give scripture suggestions, worship service suggestions, and other reflections.
Who provides resources and does the curating and programming?
Zeteosearch.org gathers resources from websites of more than a hundred resource providers, including The African-American Lectionary, The Center for Excellence in Preaching, Working Preacher, Commonweal Magazine, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Other resource providers offer art, songs, and multimedia clips.
How might using Zeteosearch.org help a preacher and worship leaders save time?
Preachers and worship planners/leaders are called to lead congregations. Our job is to make that easier by providing well-organized, thought-provoking content for the next sermon. With Zeteosearch.org, preachers will spend less time digging, allowing more time for crafting a message. The stronger the message is, the more it will resonate with a congregation.
Similarly, we provide building blocks for worship leaders to plan and lead richer, more meaningful worship. The stronger the worship service, the more it will resonate with people and bring them closer to God.
What else should preachers, worship leaders, teachers, and students of the Bible know about Zeteosearch.org?
So far, our largest group of users is in the U.S. and Canada, so right now we have only English-language resources. However, we’re keeping a close eye on diversity—race and ethnicity, minority groups, denominations, gender, and more. This will guide us as we add resources and develop new features.
Check out Zeteosearch.org and related websites such as Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW), The Center for Excellence in Preaching (CEP), Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL), and Hymnary.