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An Open Letter to Pastors | Good Design Matters

Dear Pastor,

I know that you spend hours preparing for Sunday’s. You spend hours reading commentaries from several different sources. You study the language looking for insight or subtle meaning in a word. You focus on crafting the points to illiterate so they are memorable. You likely work on an introduction to capture the attention of the audience and then sprinkle the sermon with humor or stories to connect to people’s heart.

You likely write out your sermon so you can present the Word of God well. You likely spend time fine tuning your transitions so they move from point to point well. You read over your notes several times getting them in your mind so you can preach with fervor and emphasis. Many pastors I know craft a manuscript of their sermons and memorize each word to be the best communicator they can be on Sunday morning.

Pastor, you spend hours each week preparing for sermon to deliver a 30 – 40 minute message to your congregation. You do this because you recognize the importance of the message. You know there is not message more important than the Gospel. You know that you only have minutes to capture the audience attention and to deliver the word the the Holy Spirit has guided you to deliver. You know that being prepared is important when handling the Word of God.

I would like to propose that good design for your church should have the same importance. Good design is about visual communication. It is as important a medium for effective communication as the spoken word.

Some of the greatest reforms in church history were catalyzed using good design. Martin Luther and the reformers of the Reformation leaned heavily into using good design to help communicate their message. Luther had a trusted designer and artist, Lucas Cranach, who worked closely with him to produce graphics for his books and pamphlets. In fact, the first printed Bible by Luther had numerous designs throughout to highlight the message of the Reformation.

The communication of your sermon through the week will be done on social media and other digital platforms. The visuals connected to your sermon and your content matters.

Will people stop their scrolling to read or listen? It likely depends on the quality of the graphics your include.

Will people like and share the Gospel message you present? It likely will depend on the visuals attached to the content.

We live in a digital age that utilized visual medium for effective communication. Good design matters. It may be the difference between people engaging with the Gospel or scrolling past.

Good Design Matters! The purpose of Design Revival is to help you and your church better communicate the Gospel by using Good Design.

I invite you to consider being a part of Design Revival. Send your assistant, youth pastor, worship pastor, or volunteers who are responsible for creating graphics for your sermon and content. Invest in their abilities to be better visual communicators. It will make a difference in your churches ability to effectively communicate the Gospel to your church and your community.

In His Service,
Alan Smith
Design Revival
Creative Arts Pastor | Calvary Baptist Church