What you need to do for every church service if you use projectors

1)  Choose the hymns and songs,    2)  Make the slideshow or presentation file    3)   Set up the equipment    4)  Test the presentation,    5)  Run the slideshow during the service, and 6)  tear down the equipment.


When a church decides to start using video-projection systems in liturgy, there several decisions to make:
  • What type of screens (eg large TVs, stand alone screens, fixed screens, project onto a wall) - and where to place them.
  • What equipment to use to show the projection (eg borrow a church-owned computer, use equipment loaned by volunteers who are involved, get a dedicated laptop).
  • What software to use to make the projected slideshow (what people use at work - usually PowerPoint - or a dedicated church-projection package).
  • The purpose:   Do you only want to just to show people the words of songs and hymns and so tell them when to sing? Or to incorporate videos, scripture quotes, diagrams pictures of church events, notices and the like into the worship expereince?

But sometimes people don't realise that using a projection system actually changes how the music leader or worship team prepares for and supports the liturgy - every single week:
  • They have the freedom to choose any material at all, not just what's in the hymnal.
  • It's feasible to show people sheet music and verses that won't fit into a printed worship-aid.
  • It's a lot harder (sometimes even impossible) to make last minute changes.

Using on-screen video-projection means that more preparation is needed:   organising a file library, making the slideset file (or whatever your software calls it - see here for how to do it in PowerPoint 2013), operating it during the service, and setting up and putting away equipment.

It also adds some risks (technical failure, being distracting) - which people sometimes manage by doing even more extra tasks (eg making a backup page of hymn-words, which can be photocopied if necessary).

The graphic above is a page-at-a-glance summary of the steps in preparing and using projection video for a church service.   It can be used as a visual aid to:
  • Explain the process
  • Show the timings involved, when we do things and explain why last minute changes are a problem
  • To give an overview of the training programme for new volunteers or staff who work on projection.

Download a printable (PDF) version:

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