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7 tips to get more out of projected worship lyrics

By Darby Jones

SUMMARY: In "Directions for Singing," John Wesley wrote, "Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength." Today's multimedia systems can assist by allowing everyone to see lyrics clearly as they lift their heads to sing.

1. Project the lyrics.
Songbooks and hymnals are great tools, but the small print can sometimes be difficult to see or the correct page number hard to find. Projecting songs, prayers and sermon notes on a blank wall or screen can create new engagement and understanding in worship. With heads held high, the congregation can better see one another and visual elements, such as videos, skits or the choir.

2. Choose the right font.
Curly fonts may be pretty, but they are difficult to read (especially from a distance.) Use a standard simple typeface, such as Arial or Calibri. The type size will depend on the size of your worship area and the location of the projector. Involve people of varying ages to find a point size that works well in both the front and the back rows. When choosing the size, err on the side of too large rather than too small.

3. Don’t cram.
Resist the urge to display too many words at once. Less is more. Go through the lyrics, identify natural pauses and break lengthy lyrics into multiple slides so they are readable and understandable.

4. Pick the right colors.
Make sure the color of the type contrasts well with the background. Pay attention to the color’s readability as well. People are more sensitive to brightness of color than differences in color, so test color brightness. One tip: Avoid pairing black and red type and backgrounds.

5. Consider the background.
Be careful choosing backgrounds. Some of the intricate designs available in Microsoft PowerPoint can make lyrics hard to read. Avoid detailed backgrounds behind the words. Have just enough to be visible and interesting.

6. Visit the experts.
Professional worship software programs use a tasteful combination of colorful backgrounds and design features to add visual appeal to worship services. Worship presentation software is just one of the discounted software packages that TechShop offers to United Methodist churches.

7. Create optimal views.
The design of your worship space may limit where you display the lyrics. Consider maximizing visibility to allow people who are in the back or in the side seats to see the lyrics. If possible, project on side and back walls as well as on the front

Sing lustily and with good courage! Adapt your worship setting to new technologies and see where the Spirit takes you!