Thoughts after week two of the sermon editor

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Clint Cozier | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Sep 6 2016 5:34 AM

I appreciate the attempt to bridge between Logos and my whole sermon prep workflow and the Sunday worship presentation done in Proclaim. Having used the sermon editor for a couple of weeks, let me float out some observations and see if they find resonance with anyone else. I tend to think that the use of visual projection in a sermon needs to be done very intentionally. I find that I tend to use too much text and too few graphics and video clips. I'm afraid that the sermon editor in its present form doesn't help me much in this respect.

For example, this week I preached from Romans 4:1-12 which sent me scurying for images of Paul, Abraham and David. My tool of choice is to start with a Google Image search to see what artwork I can uncover. Those go into a big bin to be sorted through and used as I'm finalizing the Proclaim presentation. I don't save a lot of time by having the sermon editor copy in Psalm 32:1-2 as opposed to entering the Bible slide in Proclaim. My real time investment is reworking the slide to have the David graphic on the slide with the quote from Psalm 32. I keep looking in the Media Browser for images like David, Abraham, Jesus etc. Either I'm looking in the wrong place, or the images that are there are mostly contemporary (as much as I love C.S. Lewis, I'm far more likely to need a Jesus teaching by the sea of Galilee image than a Lewis profile shot). If the sermon editor is going to save me some real time, it needs to become the point where the words and images come together. I put an hour a week into hunting down images, that's real time that could be saved.

I've always considered Prezi to be the best tool for making visual sermon material. It excels at making text at least semi interesting. Zooming in and out, builds using motion, embedding text in images. Right now the sermon editor / Proclaim combination is just way too static to be engaging. Its true that I invest no extra time in generating visual components with the current tools, but as sermons become more mashup events using AV snippets and compelling storytelling supported by visual elements, what people find interesting or helpful will become more complex. Integrating the word aspect which tends to be the process from my study of texts with the visual elements that are such a part of how we now consume information is fallow ground for innovation. I hope that's the gap into which the Sermon Editor and other tools are targeted.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 5:45 AM

Hi Clint

I don't think that the Sermon Editor is designed to address the sort of requirements you are outlining here.

Its focus seems to be around constructing the manuscript of a sermon while automatically generating slides for headings, quotes etc - and the ability to export manuscripts, handouts, questions.

Any facility for what you are looking for would - I expect - arrive in Proclaim but that may not be where it is focused either.

But I could be wrong - interesting to see if Faithlife comments on this one.

Graham 

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 7:45 AM

Clint Cozier:
I'm far more likely to need a Jesus teaching by the sea of Galilee image than a Lewis profile shot).
Clint Cozier:
For example, this week I preached from Romans 4:1-12 which sent me scurying for images of Paul, Abraham and David.

I admire your style Clint, I am sure that the images of these folk are quite an eye opener to your congregation.

I am sure that most, when listening to the bible stories think of 'folk like us' probably clean shaven, head uncovered and open faced.

Your images of Jewish/Arabs in their native land will create an interesting reaction and probably add a new dimension to the sermon.

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 4:42 PM

Most of our images of biblical people come from fine art. The best way to find those in the media tool is to first select Fine Art under Tags, and then look under the Biblical People facet. But we don't have nearly as much as Google does (though what we do have should be relevant, since we chose these by hand).

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 4:45 PM

Sean, you could increase your art links (including movies) by accessing The Texts this Week

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 6:37 PM

Thanks for the feedback Clint... please keep it coming!

We're planning to improve integration of our media search results and the sermon editor, and to make it easier to build even more custom slides, as you describe, that mix text and art you find via our media search feature (or even on the web).

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Myke Harbuck | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 7 2016 4:29 PM

Bob Pritchett:

Thanks for the feedback Clint... please keep it coming!

We're planning to improve integration of our media search results and the sermon editor, and to make it easier to build even more custom slides, as you describe, that mix text and art you find via our media search feature (or even on the web).

 Thanks for the great news Bob. I'm very excited about this feature, and the enhancements that you all are already planning to make. There's just no telling how wonderfully awesome this feature will be in a couple of years after it's had enhancement after enhancement. It will probably turn out to be one of the most important aspects of the logos framework. 

Myke Harbuck
Lead Pastor, www.ByronCity.Church
Adjunct Professor, Georgia Military College

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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 7 2016 5:51 PM

Clint Cozier:

"... as sermons become more mashup events ..."

I have no doubt that this is a style that works for you, and I don't intend for anything I say to be taken as a criticism of it.  But I suspect that many, if not most preachers active today aren't thinking of sermons in those terms. The power of a well-chosen visual image is undeniable.  But for me, at least, preaching and teaching are still more discursive than a multi-media mashup. Text based tools are still the bread and butter of what I need.

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Clint Cozier | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 7 2016 6:21 PM

EastTN,

I appreciate what you're saying and I do understand your apprehension. Part of my Ph.D. work years ago was in the transition from oral to written medium as it impacted the Greek philosophical traditions, Plato in particular. We are living, and have been living for some time, in a period of massive media transition. Yes, most preaching (mine included) is text based, but when I watch how my kids and the under 30s in my church consume information, its a whole different world. 

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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 7 2016 6:49 PM

Of course - things change. My grandmother was born in 1905, and died at the age of 108. It makes my head hurt to try and think of all the changes she saw. My comment was more that the software may be oriented towards supporting what most preachers today are doing mos of the time. I do think that a faith based on the Word and the Good News will always find its way back to the text, the story and the words in the end. But media have their role to play, and if you've found a way to reach younger generations with the gospel, then all I can say is may our Lord bless your efforts.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 7 2016 6:53 PM

To stay within forum guidelines (joking), does Logos have resources on how people listen/learn with sermons?  I've always wondered about that.

My impression (hopefully incorrect) is most speakers are offering performances (text and or media not the point). And the end-point isn't the metric.

Whenever I told our pastor, 'Great sermon!' after services, he frowned and I smiled. He was smart.


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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 7 2016 7:37 PM

Denise, 

that's great question! My purely anecdotal experience is that once an audience grows beyond the size where you can interact with each separate individual, there's an unavoidable aspect of "performance art" necessary to fully engage your listeners - or even to come across as natural. It's a bit like stage makeup - to look right from the back of a 500 seat auditorium, it has to be done in a way that looks garish from three feet away. A talk that's perfectly pitched for an intimate classroom will feel flat in a large auditorium, and a sermon that's perfectly pitched for the auditorium will seem bizarrely overwrought in the classroom.

And woe betide us when we misjudge our venue, for then we will surely look like fools!

Posts 73
John Sheeley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 8 2016 6:52 AM

I concur with your observations Clint and want to add one of my own. I'd like the ability when I put a passage in the sermon editor to format the text the same way I can with the Copy Bible Verses tool. In other words, I'd like to be able to format the text differently so I can have the actual verse numbers show up.

Don't get me wrong, I love this new tool and have been hoping for it a long time. However, it is fairly static and doesn't allow for much creativity in its current form.

Posts 487
John Duffy | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 8 2016 7:18 AM

John Sheeley:
I love this new tool

Yes

Posts 1129
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 8 2016 8:11 AM

A couple of additional observations.

First, not all of the text from my manuscript exported to Proclaim. Not sure why this happened.

Second, it would be nice if the sub-headings on slides would be displayed on the sermon manuscript.

Third, because some of our quotations or illustrations come from non-Logos resources, it would be nice if we could include hyperlinks to those resources for those who read our manuscripts. I am sure they would appreciate it.

Finally, alone the lines of the original post. Slides with pictures of biblical authors would be very nice. Personally I don’t want to have to search large libraries of art to find a picture of David, Moses or Paul. Just something tastefully done as you have for other authors would be nice. Also slide to go with all the major confessions and creeds would be nice. Also more author slides!

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