I remember the first time I saw a video in a sermon. I was at a youth event when the speaker was preaching. He was a good preacher, with incredible insights and engaging the crowd (especially challenging with high schoolers). Then he stopped and behind him on a big screen he created a video that had clips of Jesus being crucified and the death scene of William Wallace in Braveheart. If you’ve ever seen the end of Braveheart it is a moving scene that echoes into Christ’s crucifixion. As a high schooler I was transfixed on the screen and felt moved to tears. At that moment I knew that technology and preaching needed to go hand in hand.
Historically, technology and preaching have always worked hand in hand. Whenever a new technology would come into place, preachers would take that tech and use it to preach the gospel. Everything from props in open air preaching, to radio, television and even the internet. Preachers know that technology can take an ancient message and make it fresh in a new medium.
EPIC and TGIF
- Experiential – Experiences, both positive and negative, are ways we can learn and grow as individuals.
- Participatory – People are used to participating in their outcomes.
- Image-Driven – Images speak powerfully to our culture, and our brains process images faster than words.
- Connective. – Technology at it’s best connects people together! In our preaching and teaching, it needs to help people connect.
The platforms of connecting are TGIF.
So how can we make sure our preaching is both EPIC using TGIF? Here are 4 ways to use technology effectively.
Incorporate Visuals in Your Preaching.
By visuals I don’t just mean slides. Although that is an easy way to incorporate visuals. Props can also be a powerful way to communicate your message. Props can make abstract concepts seem concrete and memorable. When preaching about the talents in Matthew 25 use a jingling bag or actual coins. They are tactile, they will make noise and if you use them well, they can make the story come alive.
Use Interactive Elements in your sermons.
By interactive elements I mean ways you can actually make the message come to life. Rather than talking about the story of the prodigal son, through a party in your service. Our church did a message on the prodigal son and when got to the part about celebrating the return of the son we passed out Krispy Kreme donuts in the middle of the service so people could actually PARTICIPATE in the story. It was unexpected and fun.
Use Social Media to Expand Your Reach.
In your message there will be lines, clips and big ideas that people will want to remember. The best way to make them last is to share them on twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If there is a message that is effective, having clips to share with your church enables them to share those moments and can serve as ways to show that your church is doing some exciting things.
Capture Stories through Video Storytelling.
Stories in your congregation can be the most powerful part of your service. As you capture people’s stories to share with your congregation they can provide hope, comfort and show people how to live out truth. Capturing them on video also helps to control how the story lands. Some people that do a live testimony may not be great live on stage, but doing an intimate video can be powerful for them.