I want to introduce a book to you that has revolutionized my approach to sermon preparation. However, it’s not a book about preaching; it’s a book about improving Powerpoint presentations!
It’s called The Compelling Communicator: Mastering the Art and Science of Exceptional Presentation Design and it’s written by Tim Pollard, a specialist in corporate and institutional presentations. It was recommended to me by David Thommen at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He told me he used it in advanced homiletics classes and so I thought I’d take a look. I was quickly convinced of the genius and utility of the book’s methodology and set out to adapt and apply it to preaching.
The author has provided software (called Message Architect) to assist in presentation/sermon design. It’s free for six months if you buy the book and use the code in it (and very inexpensive thereafter). In the first video below, I use the software to present the message of The Compelling Communicator. Then, in the video below that, I show you how I used it in the preparation of a sermon on Colossians 1:3-8.
I’m going to work consecutively through the book of Colossians in further videos using the software as I go. I hope you’ll find it edifying and enticing. It’s made me even more of a textual expository preacher, it’s enabled me to identify the message and aim of the text, and it’s also helped me to connect the text with hearers in an engaging, yes, even compelling way. I’ve been using it in my Hebrew exegesis classes and the students have loved using it for their own exegetical presentations too.
Below each video I’ve put the Sermon Blueprint that the software provides after you work through the five steps. I’ve also linked to the Word document that the system generates which is handy for expanding exegesis, inserting illustrations, etc. Even if you don’t watch the videos, have a look at the Sermon Blueprint pdf below the video and you’ll get an idea of the method.
Here are links to the Videos and Blueprints in this series so far: