Even though PowerPoint sermons are pretty common, I know of many pastors who refuse to use them. Some say it’s a distraction. Some object to the use of media. Some pastors just don’t have time to create PowerPoints. Here are some objections to the use of PowerPoint sermons, and a few thoughts on each.
1. PowerPoint sermons are distracting.
There is a belief that PowerPoints distract people from what the speaker is trying to say. This is a well-founded belief. Why? Because some PowerPoint sermons are so shockingly ugly that they would distract just about anyone from anything. I’ve witnessed the torturous experience of a PowerPoint sermon in which every letter of every word slowly flew onto the screen, spinning as it went. I nearly died. Yes, that was definitely distracting. Thankfully, there is a way to make PowerPoint sermons not distracting. Use church PowerPoint templates. Keep it simple. And don’t add spinning animations.
2. PowerPoint sermons take too long to make.
Yes, PowerPoints can take a long time to make. I have been known to spend longer crafting my perfect PowerPoint display rather than actually studying for my sermon. Frankly, that’s a waste of time. There are two easy suggestions for solving this conundrum. First, keep your PowerPoint simple. Second, use a PowerPoint template to develop your sermon. You can easily save hours.
A variation on this theme is that PowerPoint sermon-making is too technical or complicated. Some pastors just don’t have the software savvy needed to put a PowerPoint sermon together. Thankfully, with a few quick tips this problem can be reversed. First off, there are PowerPoint sermons available. These are pre-made templates that are customized as sermons. No, they don’t tell you what to preach. They simply provide a beautiful template to which you can to add your own notes. Check out a collection of PowerPoint sermons here.
3. PowerPoint sermons make me feel constrained while I’m preaching.
Some preachers don’t like the sensation of having to stick to what’s already on the screen. This is an understandable difficulty. PowerPoint is not everyone’s style. However, using PowerPoint can still aid the hearers simply by 1) displaying the sermon title, and 2) displaying the sermon text. You don’t need need to transcript your sermon on the PowerPoint. You don’t even need to put your outline up there. Placing something as simple as your Scripture text can increase people’s attention.
4. PowerPoint sermons are too complicated to manage while I’m preaching.
I get it. Trying to do the clicker thing while trying to preach is kind of like trying to pat your head and rub your tummy while tracing circles with your feet. So, what do you do? Easy. Get someone else to do it for you. Chances are, there’s a way to have someone else press the button or click the clicker while you’re doing your preaching. As long as you’ve used a simple outline or PowerPoint structure, the person helping you shouldn’t have a problem.