Visuals in PowerPoint and Changing It Up

Posted: January 6, 2021 in Uncategorized

One of the things I do quite frequently is make original PowerPoint slides featuring illustrations. I don’t always go really extensive because there are so many hours in a week, however every so often I will go a little more extensive. I will especially do this on “special services” like Christmas Eve, which brings me to the changing it up part.

Christmas and Easter are the times of the year when preaching tends to be a little limited. Where for the rest of the year, all passages are fair game, at Christmas and Easter, or more broadly, Advent and Lent, there are certain expectations. People expect to hear the Christmas and. Easter Stories and of course they are phenomenal and highly important stories and I love them, but Christmas and Easter are also the times when churches see people they do not see the rest of the year. I do not lament this. Rather I pray and really try to bring something compelling, so that perhaps they will want to start coming more. Further I always want to make sure they hear a message that includes something on salvation. For that reason, I try to “change it up” sometimes. Now to be clear before I go any further, I always seek the leading of the Spirit for all messages. This is not just changing it up for the sake of change.

This year, I really felt the pain in people, many of whom would not be with family due to the pandemic. My Advent theme was “A Different Kind of Christmas” and besides the Christmas story, I had an underlying theme. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be good and God is faithful even in a different kind of Christmas. My Christmas Eve message also took a different tack. The title was God Bless Us Everyone. In addition to the Scripture, my jumping off point was Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I wasn’t simply telling Dickens’ story. Rather I was keying in on the theme of Redemption. You can hear the message here. Because I wasn’t sure how familiar the people in the congregation would be with the story, I added some illustrations of the characters to the PowerPoint. Here are a few samples.

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