Sunday, August 13, 2006

time for some bloggin'

Are you ready to roll?

I've preaching on Matthew 24 the last two weeks and dying to post, but I've been super busy catching up after vacation and just trying to get my head around the text. I have just a bit of a break in the madness with baptism next week, so I thought I'd go for it this week.

First order of business. . . I'm looking for some feedback on my use of PowerPoint the last two weeks. You early "life together" readers might recall that I came out pretty anti=PowerPoint several months ago. But I was pretty challenged by Family Conference Speaker Greg Sidder's use of PowerPoint and such. Quite frankly, it was the best use of technology that I've ever seen by a Pastor. I didn't think it compromised his excellent Biblical teaching, but actually enhanced. All that to say, it got me rethinking some of my convictions in this area. The last couple of weeks, I've been experimenting with the stuff a bit.

It's a fair amount of extra work, so if it's not helpful or if it's distracting in anyway, then I'd rather not mess with it, but if it's one more level of communication that helps a person track, follow along and get the point, then I'm all over it.

My goal the last couple of weeks has been try and use the technology in the least obtrusive way possible, not as the main thing, but as a compliment and additional layer to a full orbed exposition of the Scirptures. I've tried not to talk about it, but just do it. Rather than change the slides myself, I've given a manuscript with slides to the tech guys so they can follow along and change the slides on cue. I've tried to make it seamless and "matter of fact." I'm so committed to seeing people use their bibles on Sunday morning, so I've been very careful to drive people into the main text in Matthew 24 and use the PowerPoint for additional sideline texts, main points and supporting points, quotes and what I think might be helpful charts, diagrams or images.

Most of the folks, I've directly asked have been positive. . . . all except one.

What are your thoughts? I'm less interested in what you think about the matter in general and more interested in your experience of the message the last couple of weeks.

  • Has the use of PowerPoint distracted you or helped you?
  • Has the use of PowerPoint compromised my preaching or enhanced it?
  • Any suggestions for if or how the technology might be used more effectively?
(Let's hear from some of you "closet readers" that never comment. I know you're out there because you tell me you're reading along. Let's take broaden the dialogue!)

Here's the bottom line I'm struggling with . . . we are living in such a visual culture. I, at the same time, want to challenge that image basis AND take full advantage of it. Everybody draws their own line in the sand in terms of their use of technology. When is it time to move the line?

I sure don't have it all figured out. I want to be Biblical and faithful to my call. I want to preach. At the same time, I want to connect and be the best communicator I can be for His Name's Sake. I want to avoid worldliness. I think going to church should look and feel different than going to the movies or the boardroom. The Bible doesn't talk about PowerPoint (at least I can't find it), but that doesn't mean we should run headlong into these things. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. Less still is more.

Do you feel my angst?

(Don't worry we'll throw all the end times stuff into the mix on Monday!)


Steve Potratz said...

Well done. Appropriate use of PowerPoint and very helpful. The illustrations and charts were great. The only caution I would raise is on the use of scripture - I've visited too many churches where no one carried a bible. Force people to look up verses so they use their bibles and see verses in context. In the same way, encourage them to mark their bibles. BTW, having someone else advance the slides was great.

Tim Weaver said...

Powerpoint was needed for the pics which was a great way to get us with you in the way that you were thinking.

I'm with Steve on not having scripture up there unless you are going through a TON of it and people just aren't going to be able to keep up.

I wouldn't put the outline up there. I would refer to the outline in the bulletin to get people looking at it and using it and taking notes on it.

I'm not a closet reader, I know.

penny malley said...

Honestly, I almost feel like the pictures are a step backward. It was a little distracting at the Family Conference (which is strange for me to admit because I'm a visual learner!), and I feel it's unnecessary during the sermon. I did appreciate the charts you showed during the "trib talk", but overall I think your time is better used in your preparation for the study rather than picking out pics of puppies (yay) and kitties (boo).