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Multimedia Preaching
- Thomas A. Kane, CSP

FLESH MADE WORD

Using media in preaching is a new endeavor in many circles. The focus is on methodology, artistic construction and using non-traditional (experimental) preaching techniques in communicating effectively the Gospel. Multimedia may include the use or combination of music, projected visuals, drama and dance. Many public spaces are now equipped with built-in projectors and screens to provide access to these creative endeavors.

First, be aware of the various cultures – the oral culture of proverbs, the literate culture of text (theory and concept) or the post-literate, electronic culture of television, mass media and the computer and technological age. Media can be a positive addition to the preaching of the gospel, especially in connecting the art with the culture around us. Done well and with sensitivity, this style of preaching can provide a challenging and effective medium of communication.  On the downside, it can foster passivity and  “spectatorship.”  There is a fine line that requires balancing the form and the content so that there is engaging communication with the material,  the flow, and the placement within the ritual itself.

Today’s use of projections enables a blending of sight and sound for powerpoint, iMovies, or other visual platforms. The software makes media more accessible to the creative preacher. The results can be very professional looking as long as the script contains strong theological and pastoral content.  Creative media does not compensate for, nor enhance, poor or flimsy content.

Trust the media you are working with; let the media say what it says in its own communicating style; don’t try to explain media away or make an excuse for using it. Be clear with your process. In working with others, use a full script, provide clear instructions, stay with the script, and do not improvise, especially if others depend on the script for cues. Practice with visual projections, lighting, sound, volume and balance. Rehearse a number of times all the way through with everyone engaged in the production.

 


 

On Valentine’s Day

 



A Conversation with Thomas A. Kane, CSP

 


 

Questions for Reflection

  1. What is involved in creating a multimedia homily?
  2. In what ways does the preacher craft the homily for the ear and not the eye?
  3. What techniques dies the preacher employ to amplify and deepen the biblical themes of the homily through music and visuals?
  4. How does multimedia preaching heighten the emotions?
  5. What makes a homily conversational?
  6. What are the necessary steps for a preacher to create a homily with a unified core?
  7. How does revising and editing assist the preacher to create a homily that is crisp, clear and direct?
  8. What are the values for good beginnings and endings of the homily?
  9. What is the value of a collaborative approach in working with others in a multimedia format?