Bad Sermon Slides Speak Volumes About Your Church

Over the last months, I have been able to virtually visit a number of churches. Our churches strive for a great online presence that represents their church, their message and their ministries well. However, one thing I keep seeing that turns people off today is the poor quality of graphics. Sermon slides in particular, when done poorly, can reflect badly on your church and the message. People are inundated with quality graphics today in the world, so when they see really bad graphics associated with your church, it can be a turn off. On the other hand, great graphics reflects very well on the message you are proclaiming.

I have asked my friend and co-worker, Kathryn Carson, team leader for our Communications Team, to be a guest blogger today and give some great pointers to making your slides look great. Examine your graphics this week and work hard to present a image worthy of the message you proclaim.


by Kathryn Carson, Communications Team Leader, Baptist State Convention of NC.

Have you ever wondered what you can do to make your sermon slide designs better? You may be surprised to learn that good design does make an impact on viewers and is easy to achieve with a little help.

A young couple who visited our church shared this sentiment: “When we visited the church we could tell that someone who knew what they were doing was designing the slides and website. This was one of the first things that left an impression with us about the quality of the church.”

Improving your sermon slide designs is achievable, even if you do not have experience in graphic design. Here are 5 easy ways you can improve:

1. Negative space is key

Don’t let the word negative throw you off, trust me, it leaves a positive impression. One rule of thumb is to always leave at least a half inch (or more) of negative space around the outside edge of your graphic. This means that you will not extend text from edge to edge, but rather leave space for a visual break. An example is below:

With NO negative space:

With negative space:

2. Use a pre-designed template

Pre-designed templates do all the work for you. One of the best sources on the internet today is and it is FREE and easy! They also have a mobile app that lets you design from a smartphone or tablet.

3. Keep things simple, always

One thing that always works to improve design is to keep things simple. It can be tempting to let those creative juices flow, but fight the urge to use those grunge patterns or fancy fonts. Opt for a solid color background and a sans serif font.

4. Stop using clipart

Clipart was helpful during the time when we did not have access to good quality online design, but those days are behind us. Clipart immediately makes your design appear dated.

5. Model others

There is no shame in gaining inspiration from others who do a great job with design. Even experienced graphic designers “borrow” ideas from others. There are a number of great websites that you should check out. Many of these will let you download pre-made designs:

Creation Swap

Sermon Spice

Share Faith 

Church Motion Graphics


Church Media Drop