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Monday, March 08, 2010

Prophetic Preaching and PowerPoint

Over at Alpha Omega Ministries they recently blogged about how preaching with PowerPoint is not prophetic and is not in line with good expository preaching. Here's an excerpt

 I simply do not find sermons supplemented with Powerpoint conducive to the qualities of soul-grabbing, prophetic, anguishing preaching. 

I think it is safe to say that the main reason why pastors who use PowerPoint is to induce a bullet-point memory in their congregants. But that goal sets the bar too low for God's people. Preaching requires much higher demands on its people. In addition, there is just something about a cold, large projector screen vying attention away from the flesh and blood countenance of the pastor that diminishes my reflective soul to hearing God's Word. And I do not have a short attention span, so I cannot imagine the affect on those who do.

The thing is, I agree with what they are saying. Bullet-point sermons (whether they use PowerPoint, Keynote, or bulletin inserts) are generally boredom inducing. But let's not blame the software for the failings of the preacher. It is possible to preach using PowerPoint in a way that is compelling, emotional, and prophetic.

They go on to cite John Piper who preaches without the use of PowerPoint. Piper is a great preacher with years of experience and he is able to paint a vivid picture with his words. But he's wrong. Images projected can elicit feelings in a new way. At least a third of your audience is comprised of visual learners - they get bored by your talking (not to mention the kinesthetic learners who are going out of their minds).

Stop blaming PowerPoint for your lack of ability. If you preach prophetically, then you will with PowerPoint as well.

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