by Greg Hanson
In the vast majority of churches, corporate worship through music is a
key component of the worship service. For several decades, this meant
turning to a certain page number in the hymnbook or chorus book found
in the pew rack in front of you. Those days are increasingly behind us.
the advent of affordable video projectors and projection software,
worship leaders are no longer limited to what’s in the hymnbook or
chorus book. Now they can choose from a wide variety of songs while
projecting the lyrics on a screen for the congregation.
natural benefit of projecting lyrics in this way is that more
expressive worshippers are freed up to lift their gaze out of a book
and raise their hands in praise. Many have found that this simple
change in posture has greatly enhanced their personal worship
experience and ability to focus on the object of their worship—Jesus.
the ability to use projection provides much more flexibility than
merely projecting lyrics. Worship leaders can take advantage of the
opportunity to enhance the music portion of the worship service by
adding a variety of elements.
Choosing a Slide Background
care should be taken when choosing a background for the lyrics. Some
churches prefer to use a solid black background while projecting the
lyrics in white or yellow. Others try to establish an identity by using
a church logo as a watermark on the screen. But to take better
advantage of the potential of projection, choose a background that will
compliment the theme of the song, set, or service. (Alternatively, if
your software allows, you could use a looping video.)
example, if you are singing a song about evangelism, choose a
background image that shows the earth or a crowd of people. If you are
singing a song about the crucifixion, use an image of a cross. At
Christmastime, use images of the nativity or of a newborn baby.
image (or video) you choose to use as a background, make sure that the
lyrics are still clearly legible. You want the image to enhance
worship, not distract from it. If the colors of the image make it
impossible to choose a font color that can be seen, try adjusting the
brightness or contrast of the image. Adding a shadow to the lyrics can
If the lyrics are still not legible, place a
semi-transparent rectangle over the entire slide. In most cases, a
black box with a transparency of about 50 percent works well. Just be
sure to bring the lyrics to the front of the rectangle. This technique
can also be useful if you use an image as a background for your message.
interludes in the music or during solos, why not display a relevant
Scripture verse? This is especially meaningful if the song is based on
a particular verse. This can teach Scripture to the congregation while
letting them know that the song is based on the Bible.
also display Scripture for the congregation to read aloud together as
an introduction to a song. This can serve as a call to worship or as a
transition into a more reflective song/set.
Helping the Congregation Understand
songs that contain unfamiliar, “churchy,” or theological terms, it can
be helpful to the congregation if you include a definition on the
screen. Simply put an asterisk (*) at the end of the word in the lyrics
and put the definition (or explanation) at the bottom of the screen.
This can be helpful to let the congregation know what they are singing
and to create a teaching moment.
For example, if the song
contains the word “Hallelujah” you can place a definition in the bottom
right-hand corner that says, “Hallelujah – a Hebrew term that means
‘Praise the Lord.’ It is generally used to express praise or thanks.”
video clips can be inserted into your presentation to be used as
transitions, to set a mood, or to cause the congregation to reflect on
a particular issue or question. Just be sure that the video will
enhance (not interrupt) the worship. If the video is more of a sermon
illustration, use it just before or during the sermon.
also create a slideshow for the congregation to watch while listening
to a selected song. This works well during services with an emphasis on
missions. In this case, you can select a variety of photos showing a
particular mission field. If a team from your church has recently
returned from a trip, use their photos (with their permission, of
Depending on the software you are using, you may be
able to use looping videos as a background for the lyrics. This allows
for greater flexibility, but be careful not to go overboard. Your goal
is not to impress people with technology; your goal is to create an
atmosphere conducive to worship.
By using these suggestions and
incorporating some of your own ideas, you can elevate the impact of
your presentation far above a simple display of lyrics. With a bit of
creativity and a lot of prayer—combined with the leading and blessing
of the Holy Spirit—your congregation can be ushered into the presence
© 2011 Greg Hanson / PowerPointPastors.com