One of the greatest blessings that we have as Christians is to sing church songs with people of a similar faith. It is the way we commune with God, it is the way we commune with others, and it is the way we “let the Word of Christ richly dwell within us” (Col. 3:16).
For centuries, this activity has looked much the same: the congregants file into the building, pull out a hymnal from a pew nearby, and begin singing. While this is certainly the easiest way to allow everyone to sing, it’s by no means the most efficient.
With presentation software, you have the distinct advantages of…
- Getting People’s Heads Out of the Book
This creates a better overall sound and a more natural singing position. Facing forward projects the voice better and allows for a more enthusiastic worship.
- Saving Time in Between Songs
Normally, the congregation has to wait for all the members to turn to a particular page and familiarize themselves with which song they are about to sing before they can begin. With projection hymnals, the songs are instantly displayed up on the screen and the congregation can begin singing.
- Simplifying Worship
Musical notation is a beautiful thing, but for some who are unfamiliar with shape notes and general music basics, it can also be intimidating, particularly for newer songs. A projected song has the benefit of allowing the congregation to follow the leader as opposed to focusing on the do-re-mi’s of the song.
This technology is certainly not for everybody though. In your auditorium is particularly long, then people at the back may not easily be able to read the words projected on the screen. Also, projecting hymns on an overhead does come at a considerable cost in the form of buying church projectors and display screens, among others.
If your congregation is considering moving to presentation software for their worship service, keep a few things in mind:
- Make Sure You are Legal
It would seem counter-intuitive in a religious setting to worry about legal practices, but unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous dealers peddling copyrighted material that can land your congregation in trouble. While many of the older songs, such as “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art” usually have expired copyrights and can be used, the newer songs sometimes do not. When in doubt, get a CCLI license (Christian Copyright Licensing, Incorporated), which allows your congregation to print and use hymns for worship services.
- Make Sure You Have the Resources
Cost is not the only thing you need to consider when deciding whether or not to project church songs, you must also consider whether or not you have space for it. Some church projectors are designed to project an image a few hundred feet, but if the point of reception is too small, the image can be unreadable or distorted. Make sure you not only have the resources to cover the costs, but also the available space and manpower to operate the equipment.
- Make Sure You Prepare
When dealing with technology, anything can go wrong at any time and for any reason, so it’s imperative that you have print hymnals still scattered about in case the system goes down (some people may prefer them anyway). Also, make sure that whoever is running the slides has ample time to familiarize themselves with the technology and practice before services. The last thing you want is someone who is inexperienced disrupting the worship experience.
When done right, projecting church hymns on a screen can enrich the worship and breathe new life into hymns that we have sung for years. If you take the time to prepare the technology and utilize it in the correct manner, it will be of immense value and benefit the congregation for years to come.