Catching up with the world

Most of us make use of modern technology such as computers, mobile ‘phones and emails.  But the use of gadgets is not always beneficial.  Some preachers really thought they had ‘made it’ when they began to use Powerpoint.  But they have been left behind again.  For certain purposes the video projector can be useful, projecting maps, charts and diagrams for example.  But many preachers, rightly in my view, have resisted using Powerpoint in preaching.  One minister told me that when he used it he found that the congregation’s eyes were always on the screen as though they were not listening to him.  In fact, while they were copying down what was on the screen they missed something he said.  So he stopped using it.  In fact the business world was already ahead on this.  According to recent research by a major university,  Powerpoint for business presentations is counter-productive.  They discovered that PP divides the attention of the audience between the speaker and the screen with the result that the audience learned less with PP than without it.  This is apparently the case with straight speech in business presentations and lectures, so it would apply to sermons also. There are, of course, many other factors such as the skill of the lecturer/presenter.   For preaching what we need, in addition to careful preparation and clear presentation of the Truth is the unction of the Holy Spirit.  Two books that are directly relevant to this are Spirit Empowered Preaching by Arturo G. Azurdia III (Mentor/Christian Focus, 1998) and Power Through Prayer by E. M. Bounds (various publishers and editions).

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