Irreverent Musings: We need bland powerpoint slides

Why should we waste our time on creating (or selecting) a graphic design or a scenic background for the powerpoint slides used in a corporate worship service? As I’ve never been accused of living on the cutting edge or possessing any sense of style this may seem like a question of personal preference but I tink it’s more than that. Three reasons I think we should consider using bland, sterile slides in our worship services in this land & across the globe:

1) theological — in this life at least the Christian faith is built on word/message/hearing rather than sight/picture/seeing. This is especially true when it comes to a church’s corporate worship where verbal proclamation is central (Eph 5:19; 1Tim 4:13; 1Pet 2:9). What do cute/cool slides contribute to the church’s worship? See #2-3

2) functional — following on the heels of #1, the addition of graphics/scenery doesn’t add anything to the quality of our worship whether in preaching or singing. I would argue that since a cute or creative slide is meant to draw attention to itself, said slide is actually an unnecessary competitor for our attention. We carry enough distractions already. Do we really need to beam a few more on an over-sized screen? [illustrations and/or object lessons are another matter altogether]

3) practical — graphics/scenery may actually hinder members in their worship if poor contrast between the text & background makes the slide (or portions of it) unreadable. Also, the overly creative background rarely, if ever, does anything to provide greater clarity to what we speak & sing in our worship.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Associate pastor for education at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian and theological Luddite. A student of one book.

6 thoughts on “Irreverent Musings: We need bland powerpoint slides”

  1. Todd preached once at a small church where they had a few graphics on the worship PP. it didn’t distract me until we got to ‘As the Deer’ and I noticed that they had chosen a picture of a moose rather than a deer. Always think of the moose when I hear that song.

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