Song and Sermon Projection Slides That Work

Ryan Egan —  March 22, 2011 — Leave a comment

In working with every element of the worship service, it’s important to remember that everything we do should serve the congregation and help them be able to worship without distraction.  One of our toughest areas to minimize distraction has been on the video team.  One of several issues we’re attempting to tackle in that area is to display the song slides in a much more helpful way.

Displaying Songs in a Helpful Way

One key to displaying slides for your songs on your screen(s) during corporate worship is to make sure that the phrases are displayed musically.  Every song is a piece of poetry, really, so understanding the meter of the lines of the song helps to know how to break up each line visually.  By breaking up each line visually the congregation will naturally know where to pause, keep going, and feel much more comfortable singing the song.

Let’s take a look at two examples.  The first example shows a poorly created song slide that doesn’t help the congregation understand how the lines of the songs are broken up:

Image of a poorly designed song slide

This next image of the same song shows the song in a much more processable format:

An image of a well-designed church design slide

Here’s a list of helpful things to remember when displaying song lyrics:

  • Don’t display more than 4-6 lines per slide (this is about how many lines are in a chorus or a verse anyway and creates a natural transition into the next section of the song)
  • Break up the lines in natural spaces that fit the musical flow of the song
  • Don’t use overly-boring (plain color) or overly distracting (too many design elements that are fighting for the viewer’s attention and distract from the words)
  • Make sure the font size is readable by everyone in the congregation.  Your young people might be able to read it at a certain size but those who are older in your congregation probably will not be able to read it.

Preparing Sermon Slides

Another important area to consistently produce in with quality is the sermon slides. We must face the fact that we live in a society that is getting an increasingly shorter attention span.  Because of this, while the pastor is trying to teach verbally about a certain truth but has extra information on his slides (such as a long bulleted list or all of his points at once) it becomes difficult for the congregation to focus on the verbal teaching and not be reading all of the information on the slides.

I recently came across this useful and humorous set of slides that show you what to do and not what to do in creating presentation slides:

Don’t Be A PowerPoint Felon  

View more presentations from Nick Smith
By taking a few simple steps you can create much more helpful presentation slides for both your songs and and sermon presentations.
Question: What have you done in your congregation to help minimize distraction and help the congregation in a way that is distraction-free? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Ryan Egan

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Ryan is a follower of Christ, husband, father, worship leader, & creative. He is heavily involved in the Association of Free Lutheran Churches and desires to teach others to live a life of worship in everything they do.