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Monday, October 03, 2011

When is PowerPoint Unnecessary?

What if PowerPoint is not the answer to every preaching ailment and the solution to every communication problem? I recently came across this blog post over at entitled "Has PowerPoint become Unnecessary?" In it, Kent says that he has never seen any real benefit from including PowerPoint with his sermons.
"I can honestly say that the only thing that has been lost when the powerpoint wasn’t available was the time I may have spent preparing it."

PowerPoint is not always necessary with a sermon. For thousands of years, preachers communicated the gospel without the use of images or extra technology. It's not necessary.

But things are different. People are different. If anything, we are more visual now than we were just fifty years ago. Removing a visual channel of communication is, in my opinion, hurting the message of preaching. It's not necessary to the end product the way that scripture is, but it's important the way that a microphone is.

Looking at Kent's argument, in which he says that there are often technical difficulties and time spent in getting PowerPoint to work correctly, the same could be said for microphones and sound systems. The batteries on a wireless mic go out at the wrong time, the feedback is constant and unavoidable, the system is expensive and needs to be run by someone. It's all a headache that's added on-top of the task of sharing the word of God. But, it's necessary so that people can hear the message. We, as preachers, put up with the problems of microphones so that the congregation can hear the word of God.

Over time, something happens, we get used to it. It becomes a part of our preaching technique. We learn to use a hushed whisper, knowing that the mic will amplify it. We don't shout, because we know it will be to loud over the sound system. We know to get to the auditorium a few minutes early so the sound guys can wire us up. It's no longer a hassle, it's just what we do. And, without it, we could preach. Microphones aren't necessary, but they are incredibly helpful in amplifying the message we've worked so hard to prepare.

PowerPoint isn't necessary, but, it is very helpful in amplifying our message.

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