This year our church will be preaching a sermonic year. Myself and three other young men will share the fundamental doctrines and beliefs of our church on a rotating basis. Our pastor is taking the opportunity to give us practical, structured, experience in preaching. Yesterday was the start of the year and I was the first to preach. Thankfully my topic was more of an introductory topic. It was a bridge between the history of our church and inspiration and revelation.
As a minimalist I look for simple solutions to everything, that includes preaching. The sermon was required to be at least 35 minutes, which was a challenge for me as I prefer to share a message in 20-25 minutes. I spent about 15 hours preparing last week, when I next preach I’ll need to spend more time.
I used Keynote (a PowerPoint type application for the Mac) to show slides along with my message. Since preaching is new to me I wanted people to focus more on the slides than myself. I kept my slides simple. As a general rule each of my slides had between 2-5 words and an image. I used 67 slides since I knew I’d have to make the presentation at least 35 minutes.
My slides are extremely simple. They merely highlight what I’m presenting with a captivating picture and a few key words. I use them to keep people’s attention with the visuals. I don’t read off of my slides. That’s what my notes are for, although eventually I want to have everything memorized so as to avoid notes.
My presentation ended up being 40 minutes. Next time I’ll push for exactly 35. This is a wonderful growing experience for me as I’ll have opportunity to present my faith and gain experience in sharing.