By Ken Blue
All appears quite on the home front. The brethren who were vehemently against PowerPoint have evidently seen the light, or retreated into a cave. There is no need for fear. There never was, but anything new terrifies the brethren, until they can convince others they came up with the idea. So, do thy self no harm.
If your church is small, and you seldom have visitors, PowerPoint will be of little value to you. Most churches of a hundred or less operate as a family atmosphere. All the members know each other by name, they are one happy family, and many hope it stays that way. Everyone has access to the pastor, and he loves it. In addition, all the members bring their Bibles, and can find the books with ease. If you don’t have visitors, and your church is not growing, you may not need Power Point.
On other hand, if you have visitors each Sunday, PowerPoint can be a great advantage, and should be used. Keep in mind that most visitors are self-conscious, and your church is a strange environment for them. They do not want to be pointed out, nor embarrassed as they fumble through the Bible in an attempt to keep up with the pastor. So, if you want your church to grow new converts, make it easy for visitors and new members to follow you. You want your visitors to return next Sunday. Give them a reason to return.
Wisdom will dictate that you put your sermon outline, sub points, and Bible verses on Power Point. The benefits of doing this far exceed your fears. It is better to make is easy for people to trust Christ than it is to try to teach them to find verses in the Bible before they are saved. Win them first, and then teach them. Preaching and teaching is an educational process. You should use every tool available to reinforce your teaching. Power Point, and handouts will do that.
Now, for those who fear that people will not learn how to find the books in the Bible, and that is the excuse many pastors use, the key is to not put the verses up on PowerPoint in the evening service. Visitors seldom attend these services.
Pastor seldom give it a thought that most believers in both Testaments did not have a Bible in their hand. The priest or the preacher read aloud, and the people listened. So, don’t get the idea that the Bible is a fetish that must be held in your hands. It is the Word of God, no matter how it is proclaimed.
You should not throw the baby out with the bath water. Learn how to balance your ministry so you can best help those who attend. However, you should create handouts of your sermon, and let the people fill in the blanks. Yours is a teaching ministry. Let wisdom guide you instead of fear.
Creating an outline, and putting Bible verses for PowerPoint will require a little more effort on your part. However, the benefits far outweigh the time invested. Don’t allow PowerPoint paranoia to paralyze you. I believe there are two reasons pastors refuse to do the above; it requires work, and they are lazy, they fear what other pastors will think and say.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.