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Weakened by PowerPoint, Strengthened by Connection

An interview with Don Sunukjian

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PreachingToday.com:How can PowerPoint help the preacher?

Don Sunukjian: PowerPoint grabs the attention of the listener. While PowerPoint lends itself well to some parts of preaching, there are other parts where we may lose more than we gain. The question is, What will I use it for?

PowerPoint is good for charts. I would also use it if I wanted to put a verse up fast and didn't want people to take time to turn to it in their Bibles. I would use it if I wanted to highlight a word in a verse and compare the word's usage in another passage.

When might the use of PowerPoint be a disadvantage?

The most common use of PowerPoint is probably to advance a sermon outline. There the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

Most pastors who put their sermon outlines into a PowerPoint presentation do so because they know it keeps listeners tracking and from getting lost. Preachers use PowerPoint outlines to increase clarity of communication.

But PowerPoint slides, or bulletin outlines for that matter, become ...

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Jeff Kennedy

October 12, 2007  4:51pm

I do not agree. First, I don't think it's either or. Second, we have a ton of people who file the outlines, or put them in a notebook where they refer back to them. Which is good. If a preacher uses a fill in the blank outline, and preaches with kerygma - a passionate call to change - then the church and the kingdom will benefit. Most people like to be able to track with a speaker. Most people feel like preachers preach too long anyway. My suggestion is not to get rid of a superior visual aid, but to get rid of 50% of the verbose exposition that pastors get lost in. I think the church is suffering more from undisciplined preachers who ramble and take endless rabbit trails than passionate, disciplined thinkers who take them on a journey they can track with. PPT helps them keep up. No, they shouldn't outline their stories (like Nathan), but there should be some kind of discernable structure to the thing, or people check out. We should "make plain...this mystery" Eph 3:9

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