Health and Growth

Why Your Church Should Use Visual Media

Learn how church leaders can use visuals in church to boost engagement, increase sermon retention, and grow their church.

Why Your Church Should Use Visual Media

Frank Barry

Why does your church need to be more visual and less textual? 

When you think about what's going on today with Instagram and even newer services like TikTok, Facebook, and Snapchat, images and videos increasingly are the way people are communicating. And that's not new. Images and drawings were how people communicated before there was the written language and English and textbooks. People process imagery faster.

1. Accommodate the average attention span

Most people only pay attention for 5 minutes when paying attention to a sermon. With great presentations, you might get up to 20 minutes. That's the high end. If you've heard of TED Talks, these real inspirational videos, there are thousands of really good, good videos on the web that you can watch. TED Talks are 18 minutes. It's planned that way because they know that even for a great talk, people will not pay attention for more than 20 minutes.

And a great TED Talk has great visuals. If you've ever watched their series, there are great visuals for every single presentation that's being delivered. TED Talks have a great delivery, but they also have great visuals to go along with it.

2. Optimize sermon images for comprehension

Your church should be more visual and you should know that just by paying attention to what's happening in the world and social media. People are reading less, scrolling more, and looking at pictures more. 90% of the brain's information is visual. So we process visual things 60,000 times faster than text. People look at a picture and they get it. When you're preaching, having a great visual up for a key point you're trying to make will help people to understand your point faster. If you just have the Bible scripture up there and they have to read it while you're talking, you're losing people.

3. Leverage images on social media

If your church is on social media, which it should be, create great visuals, use it on social, capture people's attention, and use text to assist the image, not the other way around. I'll give you a few points here. Visuals capture attention, capture the heart, our brains process it faster, and you've got a limited amount of time to capture people's attention. In your sermons, on the web, and on social media, you want to capture that attention with great visuals. Many churches don't have staff, which is the thing to consider here. Even without a full-time graphics artist, it’s possible to create great images for your sermon and social media.

4. Outsource images if you don’t have the budget for a full-time staff

There are tools like Church Media Squad you can use at the fraction of the cost of a full-time staff member. They'll produce your sermon series graphics, your social media graphics, and all other kinds of content for you. You can go use a service like that if you don't have someone in-house. It’s far more cost-effective. They can create visuals. They can create great word pictures. They can assist you with visuals for your illustrations you're using in a sermon. They can help you with illustrations for telling great stories. They work with pastors all the time on solving this exact problem. So they can create whole kits.


And if you look at Elevation Church, and Life Church, and these bigger churches, just pay attention. For every sermon series, there are great graphics, great social media to go with the series, and they’re really keying in on the visuals. Invest the time to do visuals well at your church. You'll see the impact over a period of time. 

Show Notes

Read the full blog of this episode here:

Today on Modern Church Leader, our COO Frank Barry explains how church leaders can use visuals in church to boost engagement, increase sermon retention, and grow their church.

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Why Your Church Should Use Visual Media