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What Churches Should Avoid When Using Projection

by Greg Hanson

Countless churches have adopted video projection over the past 10-15 years and many more are embracing it every year. While this trend is part of the ever-evolving mechanics of church worship services, there are a few hazards that should be avoided.

If your church is new to video projection—or if youīve been using it for a while but have been employing poor habits—here are a few tips to help guide you past some common pitfalls.

1. Use contrasting colors for words and background. 

If the colors are too similar, they will seem to blend together. This will make it almost impossible for the audience to read whatīs on the screen. White or yellow text against a dark blue or black background usually works well. If you prefer to use an image for a background, select one that will still allow the words to be legible. When using an image, a simple trick to keep the words readable is to cover the image with a semi-transparent black box. By layering the slide with the image at the back, the transparent box in the middle, and the text at the front, you can use the image while still allowing the audience to easily read the slide.

2. Use a maximum of 6-8 lines of text on a slide. 

More than this and it just becomes a wall of text to the reader. A larger font and fewer lines of text, on the other hand, keep the text manageable, readable, and understandable to the reader.

3. Avoid the excessive use of animations. 

Animations can be fun to play with while preparing a presentation, but too many animations serve to distract the audience from your main message. The presentation is supposed to enhance your message; it is not meant to take over completely. Reserve the use of the more dynamic animations for announcements and the occasional illustration. For more serious times, though, keep the animations subtle.

4. Always run through your presentation in advance. 

During your trial run, try to use the same equipment and location that will be used for the real thing. If possible, you can even do the run-through at the same time of day. This will maximize your ability to identify problems and rectify them before "show time."

5. Donīt make people rely too heavily on the screen. 

An audience member should be able to follow along and understand your message even without seeing whatīs on the screen. Remember that you may have people in attendance who are blind (fully or partially), who suffer from color-blindness, or whose view of the screen is obstructed by a post (or even by someone wearing a particularly huge hat).

The ability to use video projection to supplement the various elements of a worship service allows for more participation, clearer communication, and a greater impact on the audience. Yet it is essential to remember that projection is only a tool. A useful tool, but a tool nonetheless. When purposefully used as a tool to enhance your worship service, video projection will engage your audience while keeping the main thing the main thing.

Đ 2011 Greg Hanson / PowerPointPastors.com


PowerPointPastors.com is provided as a ministry for pastors/preachers, especially those in churches without large attendance or flexible budgets. Most resources on this site have been designed by Greg Hanson for use at Sunrise Wesleyan Church. While Greg maintains the copyright for original material, permission is granted for pastors to use and adapt these resources for use within their local church... just don't resell it.