I spoke with a pastor recently who told me, “We have not and will not allow slides into our worship service.”
For this pastor, keeping any type of presentation software out of the worship service was akin to fighting heresy. Ironically, the church was trying to attract younger families.
Maybe your church, or you as a preacher, also have a negative view of mixing technology and sermons.
In this article, I will present four arguments in support of using presentation software during a sermon.
4 REASONS TO USE PRESENTATION SLIDES WHILE PREACHING
1. We Minister in the 21st Century
We have the blessing and challenge of ministering in a visual, media driven culture. People “see” as much as they “read” or “listen” to new ideas. And this is not only Millennials.
Surprisingly, the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64 year olds, up 79% since 2012. People of all ages are processing information differently.
Zach Kitschke, head of communications for The Huffington Post wrote to new reporters: “The way your readers retain their information might come as a surprise to you. Because, well, only 20% of what they read from your text actually sticks. However, if you put that information into an image, suddenly the percentage of information takes a huge leap to 80%.”
This is the world we live in and if by adding more visual elements to our sermons we can reach more with the Good News of Jesus Christ – why would we not want to give it a try?
2. Slides Increase Clarity
Also, consider that sermon slides, if used well, can greatly increase clarity. And let’s be honest, we could all stand to be more clear in our preaching.
A few weeks ago I visited a church and the preacher was not clear in his structure, main points or transitions. However because he used simple sermon slides which projected his main points, he was able to keep everyone on track.
Sermon slides are valuable because:
Things that are missed verbally can be caught visually.
Sermon slides are like a helpful chaperone shepherding children during a science museum field trip. They make sure everyone sees what is most important (main points, transitions, key verses, pictures) and they ensure no one gets lost!
3. Slides Increase Interest
A third reason why you should consider adding sermon slides is because they increase interest. A clear sermon is great – but a clear and interesting sermon is better!
For example, rather than just talking about the dangerous path from Jerusalem to Jericho, a visual picture displayed of the rocky terrain will help your audience connect with the story of the Good Samaritan on a whole new level.
Or as you talk about the historical reliability of the Bible, showing a picture of the latest archeological find will persuade more than words alone.
Discussing and displaying ideas and images in your sermon will help your audience to stay engaged and alert to catch your big idea and apply it to their lives.
4. The Technology Is Easy To Use
This last reason is very pragmatic. Presentation software (i.e. PowerPoint, Key Note, etc.) is widely available and has never been easier to use.
Some preachers have argued against sermon slides by saying: “I am not a computer person. I don’t know how to make a slide.”
If this has described you it is time to give it another try. It no longer takes a young wiz kid to put together a basic effective set of slides to accompany a sermon.
If you commit to watching 30 minutes of free tutorials on You Tube for whatever software you purchase – you will be ready to go. Now is the time to jump in. It could not be easier.
Jesus is our example when it comes to creative teaching and preaching. He pointed to the lilies along the road, to the farmer sowing seed and to the fig tree. He knew the power of a visual picture to drive his teaching deep into the human heart.
You and I can bring those visual elements inside our sanctuaries with the use of presentation software. The added time will be well worth it – as your sermons become more relevant, clear and interesting, leading to changed lives for the glory of God.
Question: Do you agree? Have you found sermon slides to be important in your preaching ministry? Or are you, like the pastor I started with, still fighting against them? If so, why?