Divine Design #1 – Hebrews

On Thursdays, I’m going to give examples of sermon artwork and explain the process by which they were created. Since it’s fresh on my mind, I want to start with my latest series at the Tompkinsville Church of Christ – Greater, The Theology of Hebrews.

Hebrews is a letter than begs the question, “how do you think about God?” In this letter, the author points to a proper definition of God and His works throughout the life of the Jewish people and now Christians. It reads more like a thesis or a well-constructed sermon than it does a letter. There is a ton of depth to the descriptions of Jesus and those great heroes of faith that warrants study. It is truly remarkable and worthy of a hearty investment.

As I studied this book, one word kept coming to my mind, greater. That word describes Jesus work as our high priest, as our sacrifice, and as our Savior. He is greater than the works of Israel’s priests, He is of a higher quality than their sacrifices, and He is greater (in nature) than any law-giver or leader who rescued Israel. When my study pointed me in that direction, the visual I wanted to associate with this material was grandeur, awe, and scale. I ended up settling on a picture that I found on Unsplash.com. Here is that picture before any amount of editing.


The scale of the mountain and the person is a great visual metaphor for what I wanted. After a little bit of editing (I added a washed out yellow filter) and cropping (to bring the man closer to the forefront of the photo), the picture began to change.

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I still wasn’t quite happy with it, so I added a gradient filter to give it a darker color with more “wonder.” Filters like this work great if you know how to use them. Overlay them on top of your photo and then bring the opacity of the filter much lower than that of the photo to keep the color, but also the image of the original photo. This is the finished product without text.

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I always find choosing a title font to be the most difficult choice in this process. I wanted something distressed, but not dingy or dirty. I ended up purchasing the font Veneer from this website. Obviously, not everyone wants to spend money on a font. Something similar could probably be found on DaFont or Font Squirrel. I know I’ll be preaching on this topic for several weeks and felt the purchase was prudent. When it comes to purchasing fonts or designs, I advise you to choose something you’ll use regularly or it may be a waste of money. I have no reservations telling you I’ll use this font quite a bit for future classes and announcements.

As a secondary font, I wanted something that would be incredibly different than the title font but still complimentary and ended up (after some trial-and-error) with a script font named Chunks. You can find it for free by following this link to DaFont. In the end, I was very pleased with the title slide. The title font draws your attention while the subtitle adds some class that doesn’t diminish the bravado of the title.

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When it comes to content slides, there are usually two options. You can (1) put a ton of information on there regardless of legibility or design; or (2) you can keep the pattern you established with the title going through the content. I almost always choose the latter due to my compulsive nature. I want each slide to have a purpose and I want it to connect the listener visually to what they’re heading audibly. Below are two examples. The first is a slide that contains just a passage. I use them frequently to highlight verses with strong connections to the points I’m discussing. The second is a slide with a point or in this case, an observation from the text. You’ll see only slight variations in size and occasionally color in this slides when compared to the title slide.

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At the end of the day, I’m very pleased with this design and look forward to sharing these messages. If you have any questions or would like to work together on a sermon presentation design, let me know.

About The Merger

The Merger began when Neal Mathis and Matthew Higginbotham sat down to write together. Since then, it's blossomed into so much more. The Merger is meant to be a place where faith and life meet. In these stories, we hope you'll find deep theological value right alongside life-changing practical advice.

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