3 Reasons Why your Pastor Should Not make their own Sermon “PowerPoint”

Steve Dirks

Who should make the sermon PowerPoint? Should the pastor handle everything and just send his final files to the production team on Sunday morning or is it most beneficial for the production team to be involved in the process?

I am going to explain why I believe it is most beneficial for all involved to have someone other than the pastor create their own Sermon “PowerPoint”/Presentations.

I want to encourage multiple departments to be involved with this process.

1. The first and number one reason why pastors shouldn’t make their own presentations is because of Resolution. When a pastor sends your team a presentation, that team has to follow multiple steps to get that content in to the software they are using.

These steps include the following:

1. Export the PowerPoint into images
2. Import those images in to the application used to present in your church environment
3. And try to stretch or make the content conform to the screen resolutions and size.

Many times, we production/graphic designers are dealing with multiple resolutions. It is possible to have a resolution for the screens in the room as well as a resolution for an LED wall or other such items in the room.

Many times, when pastors or speakers send a presentation, they have made it to match their home or office computer and aren’t looking at the end result. Those of us who serve on your production/graphic team know the room, the gear, and what resolution and type of content isneeded in order for content it to look impressive in that room. We want to help the pastor take their sermon notes and make the presentation such that the readability and design look consistent, striking, and help enhance the message rather than detracting from it.

2. The second reason for allowing teams to come alongside to serve pastors with their notes is related to in the moment manipulation. Pastors, do you ever want to make a change to your sermon? Or maybe in the haste to do your own notes a typo was discovered at runthrough Sunday morning, which is not unusual. If pastors or teachers have created their own PowerPoint, the process to edit these issues increases to the point that if they are aren’t discovered early enough they won’t be able to be resolve in due time.

If those of us who serve on the production teams are given the ability to create the slides, to begin with, we can construct templates that will enable us to create slides last minute and thus make editing a simple process,instead of a tedious time-consuming one. So, my plea here is to allow us to help you!

3. Finally, the third reason for allowing others to help pastors create their sermon presentations relates to gifting. Pastors and Teachers, you are called to handle, exegete, and preach the word of God. You have the awesome, weighty privilege of leading and shepherding your flock. As you prepare these messagesinstead of trying to do everything, why not allow us (your team) to come alongside and serve you.

Your gifting is teaching, our gifting is with media and we can take your sermon points and passages and get them to look excellent in the room. Let us help you! Many pastors and teachers will find that if they create their outline, think through what they want on the screen, as well as what is most important, send that information to your team in a text document as soon as possible, and then let your creative team handle the sermon graphics, get the information onto the screens, they will find that the level of excellence in the worship experience will grow.

Another aspect of this is that most pastors are not skilled, gifted graphic designers themselves. If you have a graphic team or subscribe to a graphics service like ours, let the graphic people do what we love to do well. Give us your content and let us format and come up with sermon series designs that help elevateand communicate the message. Through this process:

1. You will find that your team is able to create custom content tailored for your room
2. You will be helping and serving your production team by getting the information to them, and allowing them to use their gifts and abilities
3. You will also find that lastminute changes or issues can be corrected much easier if your team is creating the content on the screen

In closing, I would like to give one more comment to pastors and teachers: Just because you hand off the creative element to your team doesn’t mean that you can’t be involved. If you want to see what the slides will look like, I would encourage you to get your content to your team on a Monday or Tuesday. Get the meat of your message to them. We understand some of it may evolve over the week, but get the rough draft to them. Then setup a time on Wednesday or Thursday to run through your content. This would allow you to see it and speak into that process if needed as well as allowing your team the ability to get what they need.

To my fellow creatives, remember that our job is to serve. Reflect on the words of our Master in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” No matter what your situation, find the best way to serve your pastor. If your leader wants to make his own presentation and isn’t ready for this step, then try to see if you can meet with him and show him what you need and why. We all need to continue to remind ourselves that we serve because JESUS served us!

So, show that same love and care for the man you serve each week who is behind the pulpit. 

I am praying that all of us would continue to serve our master well and that our churches would be a place where we pull together to seek that our service are Jesus focused and distraction free to the best of our abilities.


About Steve Dirks

Executive Director
Church Visuals

Steve Dirks is the Executive Director for Church Visuals. He has spent over 10 years serving in different churches serving in lyric presentation, audio, and visual content creation, and helping lead teams of volunteers. Steve lives in Pittsburgh and uses production background to serve Steel City Church. He loves being a father to Mercy & Caleb and a husband to Bekah his amazing wife. He is a huge fan of any sports team in Pittsburgh and of course his hometown South Carolina Gamecocks!

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