I've been thinking quite a bit about preaching lately. Not so much the next message, but the message after that. Pondering issues around communication, presentation, process etc. One of the outcomes has been to instigate the creation of a preaching feedback loop for our 4 main preachers at cessioncommunity - me, Melissa, Rhett & Frank. I'm hoping that will lift our level of supportive critique
One thing that has stuck with me for a few months is a comment that made its way to me, to the effect that there is a small group within the community who never expect to understand a message in the context of Sunday worship. That has been quite a sobering thought. I suspect the reasons are many and varied and that at least some of the fault is on the attitude of the listener. That kind of thought process can pretty quickly become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it also demands a considered response - how can we communicate better? How can we provide tools for people to find greater personal application? How does one promote a value which says listening and applying preaching is a personal discipline and not a consumed item?
Anyways one of the things I'm interested in is the role of visual media in preaching. We already use a ton of the visual in our wider worship gathering - pictures, video clips, powerpoint "poetry", self-made videos etc. But what about as a specific amplification of the preached message? Is our general commitment to touching auditory, visual and kinesthetic communication styles, adequately reflected in those times we specifically engage the application of the scriptures?
A starting point for me has been to investigate what others think of powerpoint. For a start there is a mass of opinion that is largely uncritical of the use of powerpoint - bigger and flasher is better - its an extreme "informational" approach, where fill in the gap outlines are supplemented by fill in the gap powerpoints. The very real danger is that its the powerpoint that drives the message rather than the passage. Then there are those who say "no" to any kind of powerpoint.
As I've looked at a few approaches I think you can divide them up into 3 broad categories:
Anyways it seemed like the sort of practical topic that people might have a few ideas on. So what do you think? Is there a balance and if so what does it look like? Or is powerpoint a needless distraction that undermines the preacher's true craft to apply truth to the gathered congregation (as opposed to the one gathered around the preachers computer at 11pm on a Saturday night!)