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Preach the Word


PREACHING AND PROJECTORS

Introduction
Effective use can be made of overhead projectors (OHPs) and PC projectors in preaching. But their bad use can distract rather than attract a congregation from listening to the Word. Here's some advice:

1. GENERAL ADVICE

  • Prepare your presentation well. Be professional about this.

  • If you're using an OHP - laser print your acetates if you can. Handwritten presentations can be untidy and difficult to read. Underline important points with a colour OHP pen. Do this on the reverse side of the acetate to avoid smudging.

  • Choose your typefaces, backgrounds and colours wisely - acetates or slides should relate to each other. Don't go overboard with colours, clipart and typefaces. Keep things simple. The presentation should serve the preaching.

  • As a general rule don't use silly or cartoon clipart. Any kind of picture can distract a congregation's attention from preaching. Cartoon clipart can contradict serious points. Resist the temptation to be slick or clever with type or pictures.

  • Check your spelling and Scripture references carefully.

  • Test your presentations before using them. This will help you to criticise their relevance and legibility. Seek a second opinion.

  • Prepare a handout for the projectionist so that pages are shown at the right time. Microsoft's Powerpoint enables you to print out nine screens on a sheet of A4 paper.

  • Don't use too many acetates or slides. Six may be enough for a three-point sermon (including the title, introduction, main points and conclusion). You may need more for a Bible study.


2. SPECIFIC ADVICE

  • Observe how preachers and teachers make use of visual aids. Copy their good points.

  • Don't change the acetates or operate the computer yourself (e.g., a laptop with remote control). Doing this will divert your attention and stereotype your mannerisms. Give the task to someone as a supporting ministry.

  • Dale Carnegie advises public speakers: "Don't keep turning to the screen to point things out" (Art of Public Speaking). When you do this you lose eye contact with the congregation. The habit also creates the atmosphere of a lecture.

  • Don't turn the lights down or off in order to highlight your presentation. God's instrument in preaching is the preacher - and people want to see the speaker. Again, the preacher must maintain eye contact with the congregation.

  • Avoid the temptation of imitating the popular media in your church services. Churches should not be in the entertainment business. This is fast becoming the church age of floodlit pulpits and music-backed prayers and sermons! Avoid gimmicks.


Footnote
Christian web sites can be a rich source of ideas and clipart.


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Copyright 2007 Vernon Ralphs

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