The job of projecting the slides on the screens and running the computer during the weekend was the first place I ever served inside my church. We have come a long way in the past decade with tons of improvements as far as the way the lyrics look, the fonts we use, number of lines used and even the presentation software. When we first started we were using PowerPoint, and ran it on a dinosaur of a PC with Windows XP. Looking back over the past 12 years I realized how tough it really was back then compared to the technology we have available today with such software as Proclaim and ProPresenter.
I’ve also come to know the importance of this job and how distracting it can be to the congregation when I am not on my game and changing the slides at the right time. Not only that but because so many eyes are on the slides during worship it can be really distracting if the slides are unorganized and done poorly. Here are just a few ways that you can improve your lyric slides today to prepare you for this Sunday.
It might be obvious that making the right choice as far as fonts go is very important, but what fonts are the best? I always choose a san-serif font such as Helvetica Neue Bold, or Myriad Pro Bold. It isn’t recommended to use serif fonts (the ones with the little feet and tails) or decorative fonts. I’m not saying that serif fonts shouldn’t ever be used, but the main goal is to make the font go unnoticed to the worshipper in the congregation. Sometimes serif fonts can be a little harder to read for some people. Whatever font size you decide on using keep it consistent, and use the same size for every song.
This may vary from church to church, depending on the size of your screen and the distances the congregation is from them. I prefer to keep the font size as small as possible keeping in mind the readability from the back of the auditorium. For me the tech. booth is located at the back of the auditorium so if I can read it most others will be able to.
Lines Per Slide
Don’t use anymore than three lines per slide. Adding any more lines to a slide can become distracting, and hard to read. Keeping your slides with three lines or less makes it easier to read and help your congregation worship freely, especially with a new song that they might not be familiar with.
There is no reason to put labels and instructions on your slides such as repeat x2, bridge, chorus, etc. Just display the lyrics on the slide just as they are sung. It’s simple and causes less confusion with the people reading them.
This has caused a bit of drama inside my church. There are a few people that think they are grammar police, and this bothered them that our slides never used punctuation like commas, or periods. They are words to songs that are being sung, not sentences or stories that need perfect grammar. Line breaks are enough for the congregation to get the separation.
If there is a line in the song that repeats, there is no reason to put it twice on the slide. Just one time will be good. It looks nicer and worshipers will have an easier time singing the lyrics.
You might be tempted to cram as many words on a single line as possible. Don’t! Getting to close to the edge of the slide causes it to look messy and harder to read. Split up the line and put in another slide if necessary. This will help obtain a simple and more professional look for the slide.
Most of all have fun when creating the slides. Remember the importance of what you do and don’t get stuck in a mode where you are just doing the motions and the tasks of ministry. What you do is a very important part in building God’s Kingdom. This is one of the jobs that I volunteered it that this was quick easy to get stuck in doing the task.
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