For all the talk about being a visual learner or an auditory thinker, or using the right side of your brain or the left (I’d rather use the whole thing!), let’s get one simple fact straight:  visual helps. When it comes to preaching, using visual enhancements will strengthen your message.

Visual-orientation is huge. Preaching is not intended to mimic TV, but a preacher can gain incredible leverage through using visual aids. Here are ten ways that you can visually enhance your sermon.

  1. Use sermon outlines. Most sermons that you preach probably have an outline to them, or at least a logical flow. In order to help your people follow the flow of the sermon, display the outline on the data projector. In this way, your congregation will have a clear idea of where the sermon is going, and where it has come from.
  2. Include sermon notes in the bulletin. Low-tech can be just as effective as high-tech. You may wish to include the sermon outline, excerpts, or a note-taking white space in your worship bulletin.
  3. Use maps. A lot of information in the Bible has to do with specific geographic locations. Whether you’re talking about Israel’s wilderness wanderings, or where the Corinthian church was located, pinpointing it on a map will help. Use your data projector to display maps with specific locations indicated.
  4. Use a video background. A non-distracting yet visually enhancing video loop is a great way to add beauty and quality to the setting of your sermon. In addition to changing the look of the auditorium, a video background provides visual interest. (Sharefaith has hundreds of such videos with options that are relevant to each season and Christian holiday.)
  5. Play an occasional video clip. As eloquent as a preacher may be, some things are better understood when they are seen, not heard. For example, you may be using an illustration from a recent football game. Rather than describe the event, show it! Video clips of just about anything are available on YouTube. Videos that are tailored for sermons are available widely on the.
  6. Put Scripture on the screen. As you work through the biblical text, explaining and applying it, you can enhance understanding and clarity by displaying the Scripture on the screen.
  7. Most pastors preach sermon series. For example, a pastor may spend several weeks discussing the fruits of the Spirit, the gospel of John, or some other theme. Come up with a visual theme for the sermon series. Your series on the Fruits of the Spirit may use a picture of a tree growing in a field. Every Sunday before the sermon, you should project the image that people see when they enter the auditorium, or that they see just before you begin your message. You can use this same visual theme in a flash area or an image on the website, consistently reminding your people of the truths that they have been learning.
  8. This suggestion will take a lot more thought and preparation, but done right, it can be very effective:  use object lessons. Bring actual objects with you that integrate with your teaching. There is a well-known mousetrap or rat trap illustration that has been modified and used for many years. You may wish to demonstrate a quality of sin by tying someone up with ropes (make sure that you let them know what you’re doing ahead of time).
  9. Depending on your auditorium and facilities, you can use props on stage that amplify the message visually. A ladder. A refrigerator box. An oar. A fishing net. Objects like these can help to set a mood, reinforce a truth, and communicate the message in a more powerful way.
  10. Show pictures. Pictures do something that words can never do. Use pictures where you can throughout your sermon. Don’t tell people about the dusty, arid deserts of the Arabian peninsula. Show them. What did the Jordan river look like. Rather than leave it up to people’s imagination, show them a picture or video of the actual river where John baptized people.

These are just ten simple suggestions that will hopefully help you to enhance your sermons. There are more than just these ten. The options for visual enhancements are endless.

Please visit the Sharefaith site, a site devoted to media for the Modern Church, You will find thousands of visual enhancements for worship.

About The Author

Daniel Threlfall has been writing church ministry articles for more than 10 years. With his background and training (M.A., M.Div.), Daniel is passionate about inspiring pastors and volunteers in their service to the King. Daniel is devoted to his family, nerdy about SEO, and drinks coffee with no cream or sugar. Learn more about Daniel at his blog and twitter.

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