Principles For Using Modern Media in Sermon Delivery

There are a lot of people who would flat out say they are against using modern media in their sermon delivery. Common objections would be “it is distracting” “it is irreverent” “it takes away from God’s Word” and so on.


Now, these objections have a bit of truth to them, if we are going to use modern media in our sermons than we should make sure we are careful about the use.

Most of us have some kind of ability to use modern media (video, audio, content found on the internet ect.) in our sermons. If you have a screen to project onto upfront whether that is a projection screen or a TV screen then you can do this. (Even if you do not have a screen you can always use audio instead)

Modern audiences are used to phone screens, and TV screens, and computer screens, and iPad screens and on and on.

So today we are going to look at some principles for using modern media in sermon delivery. I want to move past just slides on PowerPoint (those are great and highly recommended) but I want to look at using video, audio, the internet, and so on in our sermons.

Make Sure You Are Legal

This is important because say you really want to show a clip of a movie you just bought and love so much, well you cannot project that on the screen to everyone in your audience without permission. a CVLI license is a good resource to have. But if it is not covered you might have to plan ahead and contact the studio to receive permission (you might not get it).

Always Relate To Most Of Your Audience

Most video will keep people engaged just by the fact that it is visual and on the big screen and a break from you (just kidding, maybe). But, I have seen a song whole four minute song played in a sermon that just did not do much for a large part of the audience.

If you are going to use audio (A song, a clip from something, a sports call) make sure it is short and will communicate to most of your audience.

Be Aware That The Media Is Supplementary and Secondary to the Text

The five minute movie clip you play at the beginning of your sermon could be a great resource or illustration to help explain and apply the text you are using. But, do not make it the centerpiece of your message. The Biblical Text, the Scripture, the Gospel need to be the centerpiece of your message, and as great as modern media, and movies, and video clips can be they do not have the saving power of Jesus.

Do it With Excellence and Professionalism

This is so important! I have seen so many times were the preacher has a video clip in the middle of his sermon and when he gets to it the computer operator is pulling things across the screen and minimizing programs and maximizing programs and so on. Or the video buffers-enough said.

It is important that if you are going to add media to your sermon delivery that you do it with excellence. If that means you have to spend some time learning how to do it yourself and then training people to do it with excellence that means you are going to have to do that.


Modern media can play a big and crucial role in the modern sermon.

How are you using media? Share with us in the comments!

Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Rise Church in Marion, Oh. He is married to his awesome wife Jenna and they have one daughter Aryella.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God's word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.


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