Pretty Wild Opportunity

Last month I was encouraged by an acquaintence to send in a proposal to do a presentation at the BibleTech09 conference (sponsored by Logos software).  I sent in a proposal, thinking that the conference planners would take a look at my name and position and go, “Who is this person and why is he bothering us?”  Instead, I got a message yesterday saying that my idea had been approved!

I’m psyched, and a little bit unnerved, to have this opportunity.  I’ve posted the idea for my talk below.

Does this mean I have to start using Logos Software now?

Sermon Painting – Using Digital Projection to Illustrate a Sermon

Advancements in digital projection technology have opened up an incredible array of tools for sermon presentation.  Using a screen to help present a sermon offers pastors opportunities to go into more depth, and gives congregations another means by which they might interact with the message.

These tools, however, have also left pastors wondering how they can best be used.  Is projecting the sermon outline effective in capturing the congregation’s attention?  Are bullet points enough to entertain anticipation in the hearts of worshipers?  Do quotations from the Bible and other sources work in engaging listeners?

Sermon painting is a new approach to using digital projection for a sermon, re-framing the questions that lead churches to use their screens in the way they traditional do.  Instead of simply using a digital screen as an upgraded overhead projector, it allows the screen to reach it potential as a visual, rather than a textual, medium.  Where traditional uses of a screen make use of large portions of text, sermon painting conveys the movement and ideas of a sermon through the use of images.  The majority of content is left in the voice of the speaker, and the screen becomes a running visual illustration of a sermon’s major points.  When done well, the images become visual mnemonic devices, helping to embed the message into a congregation’s hearts and minds.

In this session participants will:

  • Be introduced to the concept of sermon-painting and the process of developing a presentation which effectively “images” a sermon.
  • Be introduced to a number of free software tools which significantly lowers the bar of entry in using digital projection in worship.
  • See examples and demonstrations of effective sermon painting.


  1. jimgetz says:

    I’m so happy that you’re finally getting this stuff of yours out there!

  2. wezlo says:

    Hope the folks at the conference agree…

  3. mel says:

    It is really cool. And I’ve started to think that other types of presentations could be enhanced by similar measures. At least it might make things like the seminar I regularly sit though much more interesting.

  4. Len Flack says:

    Will they be recording (audio or video) the presentation for distribution to those of us geeks who won’t be there?

  5. willoh says:

    Getting the message across is the main thing, but it is great to see people follow a sermon in their own bible making notes and highlighting. I know it is the only time some get into the word, am I hoping to much that this behavior will generalize across conditions and they will be more comfortable with book in hand than screen in face? Just a low tech?

  6. wezlo says:


    I view the entire worship as a time to be in the midst of the Story of the Gospel and the sermon more as an exhortation to be drawn deeper into that story and live it out.

    Note-taking reminds me of an academic lecture. I can do those too, and I’ll actually seek out a good lecture from time-to-time, but it doesn’t bother me if folks aren’t note-taking while I preach.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind one bit if folks asked a question in a sermon if it would draw them into the story more.

    I also don’t think this is “the next big thing.” In a low-church setting where there isn’t much else done to draw people into the story in deliberate fashion, however, it’s a good way to go.

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