In a recent article for Pastors.com, Greg Atkinson writes: “Over the past 12 years when I have spoken at pastors and leadership conferences, I have urged pastors to, “Paint a picture with your words. Don’t underestimate the power of imagination.” . . .
The honest truth is too many communicators rely too much on tech; they’re lazy in their preparation and it shows. If you were to preach on a Sunday when the power went out and you couldn’t use any visuals, PowerPoint or videos, and your sermon fell apart, you’re basically admitting you had nothing to say. Videos and graphics are supplemental enhancements — they can’t be the meat of what you communicate. Read those last two sentences again.
Please know I’m all for using media and have taught on it widely, but I always caution my audience to not let the “tail wag the dog.” You should never say, “Hey, I found this cool video clip. Let’s build a message around it.” This way is backwards. Plan to preach what God has laid on your heart, rooted in Scripture, and if there happens to be a video clip which supports or illustrates one of your points, great! But it must be in a supporting role.
Not only is Jesus the perfect model for leadership, he is the perfect model for communication. Jesus was the greatest preacher who ever lived. You only have to read the Gospels once to see how Jesus captured the imaginations of all who came to hear him. Jesus understood if you can capture one’s imagination, it will take them on a glorious adventure and have far greater impact than a picture or video we try to show them. Jesus, through parables, led people on a journey of discovery and insight by using words and illustrations which got across the message he was trying to teach. . . .
Mark Batterson wrote an article titled “Postmodern Wells.” In it, he said, “Don’t get me wrong: the message is sacred. But methods are not. And the moment we anoint our methods as sacred, we stop creating the future and start repeating the past. We stop doing ministry out of imagination and start doing ministry out of memory.” Are you doing ministry out of imagination or out of memory?” [Read the full article]