I love preaching. I love opening a passage of scripture, expounding on it, and seeing eyes opened and hearts encouraged. The natural tendency is to make the sermon a monologue. Often this serves just fine, but I think it can be enhanced visually.
Personal Sermon Notes
Sermon outlines or notes pages can be included in bulletins or handouts that each person receives as they arrive at church. Adding visual aids in these notes can provide an additional way the congregation follows along with the sermon.
Slides accompanying the sermon
In addition to outlines for each person, slides can be used to highlight a point you are making or a scripture you are referring to.
As a visual person, I appreciate seeing slides that go beyond the text that the pastor is saying, and include relevant images or other visual aids. For example, when quoting a person, include their photo. A sermon illustration could be accompanied by a picture of what is being referenced. If you are speaking on the Lord being our shepherd you could have a picture or brief video clip of a shepherd working with his sheep.
While pictures are useful, the real thing can be even better. Some sermons make it easy to bring in a prop. An easy example could be pointing to a cross already in your church when you are preaching about Christ’s death. Communion includes props which Jesus instituted: the bread and juice. A sermon from Matthew 7:3-5 about the person with a log in their eye pointing out a speck in another’s eye would be a great time to bring in a 2 X 4 and a little sliver and visually show people the absurdity of that action. A sermon on reaching the world for Christ might be a time to bring in a large world map or globe to point out some of the least reached areas of the world.
This past Sunday I asked my wife, and she agreed, to be a model for me. I am preaching through Colossians, and we were in chapter 3 where Paul writes to the church in Colossae about how to dress as a believer. He specifically talks about “getting rid”, and “putting off”, and “stripping away” certain things. Then he twice says “clothe yourself with” something.
I had my wife put on an old T-shirt over her clothes. Then, after reading the scripture, invited people from the congregation to shout out all the things that were of the old life and were to be put off. As they listed the items from the scripture, I had preprinted words and phrases that I taped to this T-shirt. When they were all taped onto her T-shirt I reminded them that verse 5 talks about “putting to death” the things of the old life. So I picked up a pair of scissors and cut the shirt off of her and through it on the ground. That has now been put to death.
Then I had her put on a suit jacket of mine. Now we continued in the scripture and as they called out the things that we are to “clothe” ourselves with, I taped those words and phrases onto the suit jacket. Once she was wearing all the good things, I had her walk around as if she was a runway model, displaying all the things Paul was telling us to “put on”. I concluded by pointing out how Paul finishes that section by telling us to do all we do for the glory of God. The New Living Translation says we are to be good representatives of Christ in all we do. We are like a model, continually displaying what a Christian should be like. I pointed out that this was not “Dress to Impress”, but “Dress to Express”. We are to put on the things of Christ to show the world what Christ is like.
Look for ways to occasionally bring in a visual to aid your sermon. There will definitely be some who appreciate your efforts.
Keep looking up,