Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vision Trumps Other Senses

If the preaching was mainly images, it'd already be three times as recall-stimulating than if it were only oral. When you throw in both, it's six times more powerful.

In an age where power-point is used at almost every Church council meeting, it's a wonder why oral presentations remain primary in sermons. There are a few commonly asserted reasons:
  • preaching by speaking alone is the way it's always been done
  • preaching by speaking alone didn't seem to stop the traditional greats like John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, etc.
  • preaching by speaking alone is the key Biblical way (I'm not totally familiar with this argument but I suspect Jesus being the Word of God has something to do with it...)
  • preaching with visuals (and other high-tech-ism) serves to distract and risks making the preacher overly dependent on slides
Well, I'd like to offer three reasons why we need to go closer to that 65% mark:
  • people recall better (since 'vision trumps all other senses'); John Medina has shown that
  • the preacher need lose NONE of the benefits of oral-type presentations (e.g. the stories can stil go on full swing)
  • God bathed His written Word with loads of images, obviously expecting us to 'see' with the mind's eye the full glory of His works, His heart, His plans, etc.; it's unlikely, then, that He'd have a fundamental problem with power-point (smile)

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