Sermon Powerpoint presentations that DON’T SUCK

I’ve seen some woeful sermon powerpoint presentations in my time.  Terrible graphics, clip art, pixelated photos, bouncing text, horrible use of entry and exit text animations… should I go on?

Last Sunday we had our baptism service and I wanted the sermon powerpoint to look schmick.  The weekend before I did up a decent one but the font changed in between home and church and it ended up being a bit of a dud.  I found some free fan art online that fitted with my message and created a simple yet creative screen. (Download whole presentation by clicking on the picture.

I then individually created each screen (all 15 of them!) to have excellence, be clear and punchy and to display most of the scriptures I would be reading (9! It was a heavy Word week). 

In total the full presentation took me about 2 hours.  I felt like it was a worthy investment of time as it helps people follow the message visually, displays on screen everything you want people to see AND hear and gives people the scriptures in case they didn’t bring a Bible.

The presentation was put together with Microsoft Powerpoint after each screen was made with Photoshop CS2.  It’s not impossible to create visually appealing presentations (even if you don’t like my styling on this one) and present something powerful each week.

Check out Creation Swap for heaps of free slides you can use already.

Download my entire Powerpoint presentaion here.


Springpad Vs One Note – first thoughts

Many of you know my fascination with Microsoft One Note… it’s a simple but powerful program which lets you categorise and store thousands of bits of info into ‘notebooks’ not unlike an A4 notebook with dividers.  Clever!

Since getting an iPhone however I’ve searched for software that would allow me to sync seamlessly One Note notebooks between devices.  I found Mobile Noter which has an iPad app too and is pretty good.  But simple cut and paste seems to elude it and it’s very clunky.

My friend John Finkelde recommended Springpad via Twitter earlier this week.  Since then I’ve been…. fascinated!

springpad pic

Perks of Springpad

  • Free iPhone + iPad apps
  • Automatic sync across devices
  • Full browser integration (i.e. access from anywhere)
  • ‘Magical’ auto assistant – haven’t seen benefits yet but apparently they exist
  • Cloud backup automatically
  • Tasks built in
  • Share items with friends simply (Facebook/Twitter integration)

One Note picAdvantages of One Note

  • Powerful MS product with sub links inside other MS products
  • Auto-saves your work – no save button
  • Completely searchable including text in images
  • Clever paste which adds website + other details
  • Better filing system
The jury is still out but I’m really enjoying Springpad so far and I’m loving using it out and about on my iPhone and iPad too.
EDIT: Just found a One Note iPhone app here!

LibraryThings – brilliant!

I was looking for a simple library tool that I could

  • Easily and quickly add all mine and the churches books to
  • Share the list easily and publicly
  • View and search online or via my iPhone.

I found LibraryThing and it’s perfect for us!  Adding books is a cinch, I share a permalink with everyone so they can see my library in Cover form.

Check out our list of books at C3 New Life here.

To Do Lists – How do you do it?

I’ve tried heaps of different ways to manage tasks.  I’ve used Microsoft Outlook, Google Tasks, the Things app, the 2Do app, pieces of paper, notepads… the list goes on.  I wanted a simple, easily manageable system that I could access both on my computer (in a browser preferably) AND on my iPhone.  I could not find a single iPhone app that would allow me to sync easily with my PC as well as my iPhone.  Key word?  Easily.

Then Communicate Jesus showed me GQueues.  It’s online, you can view it on a mobile site (and save to your iPhone home screen easily) then you have your tasks list everywhere you go AND when you’re at home.  You also don’t need to stuff around with MS Outlook or Apps that only sync with Mac software or other complicated task systems.

GQueues… simple, easy, fast, efficient… PC, Mac, iPhone, mobile device.  Nice.

Preaching via Skype

This Sunday at C3 New Life we’re doing something a little different.  We’ve got David Spell from C3 Atlanta preaching live via Skype.  Seems to be generating some buzz.  Anyone who hears about it seems to be interested in the results.  Here’s what we’re doing to prepare:

– Ensure internet connection is fast. ADSL 2 or a 7.2Mb/s speed wireless broadband connection should do the trick.  We’ve got the latter.

– Ensure it’s visually engaging.  We’ve got 2 new 50″ plasma screens we’ll be hooking it up to and giving David a webcam on our end so he can engage better with the crowd.

– Let everyone know about it.  It’s a bit of a big deal for us to have him speak so we’ve been telling the church for a few weeks now.

Will let you know how it goes.  Looking forward to it!

Apple TV

Tried out Apple TV at the new Apple Store here in Newcastle. Looks impressive. Can you see any uses for it in ministry?

Which ‘To Do’ App Do You Use?

I’ve played with lots of the task manager apps on the Apple App Store for my iPhone and there’s a diverse range out there to help (or hinder!) your productivity.

I spent $12.99 on an app called Things which had a brilliant write up and looked excellent. I have to admit, the price made me think it’d be an upmarket, holistic app. I was wrong! It lacked some basic features you can find in much cheaper apps such as recurring tasks. I decided to check a few others out.

I downloaded some free versions and tried them out but the best one I found is called 2Do. Check it out at It’s about $4 on the app store but has pretty much everything you need. The features page is pretty impressive plus there’s an inbuilt tutorial to help you get the most out of it.