All the preparation has gone into ensuring this week’s worship service and church presentation goes off without a hitch: The music is selected, the coffee is brewing, and communion is set up. But once members file in and get ready for the gathering to start, you realize something’s off — your tech is acting up...again.
After a few fits and starts, you and your team try to get the projector to start working, but there’s no use. It won’t be happening this morning. So you ask members to sing from memory and use the Bibles in front of their seats to follow along with scripture readings and Bible verses.
If this situation sounds familiar, you’re not alone. With the rise of technology in worship gatherings, every church leader and pastor is trying to figure out how to use it to their advantage. In fact, according to Faith Communities Today, 52.9% of congregations use visual projection on a big screen during worship.
But one small glitch can derail a Sunday morning service, not to mention present church staff or volunteers with another hassle they don’t have the capacity to deal with.
That’s where church presentation software can help. This article will help you learn more about what church presentation is and how to select church presentation software for worship at your next Sunday gathering.
What Is Church Presentation?
A church presentation, or worship presentation, is a visual guide for the worship gathering. A worship presentation helps attendees understand what is going on and what to expect throughout the service. It typically includes a projection of sermon notes, Bible verses, church announcements, or song lyrics.
There are a lot of additional elements that can go into a service with an engaging church presentation. These elements include photos, videos, slideshows, and other church media.
A worship gathering can feel disjointed and unorganized without a solid church presentation plan. But, like many things in life, if a worship presentation is done well, it should feel so seamless that congregants don’t even realize it's there.
If a gathering with a smooth worship service sounds like a dream of yours, continue reading onto the next section. That’s where we’ll discuss specifics about worship presentation software and how it can help streamline your next gathering and help you clearly communicate with members.
What Is Church Presentation Software?
Church presentation software, or worship software, is the technology tool that enables a church presentation to be streamed or projected onto a big screen or played on TV screens throughout the church building.
Without church presentation software, information like a graphic, a song lyric, or an excerpt of scripture wouldn’t be accessible to the entire congregation.
Before church presentation software, each element of a church service was individualized: song lyrics were in song books, Bible verses were in a hardback or unbound Bible, and announcements were in paper bulletins. Now, with worship software, all of that can be simplified into one place, making it easier for members to participate and join in worship together.
Unsure about the cross-functionality of worship software with your computer? Worship software is compatible with both Windows and Mac technologies and can include additional tools like a PowerPoint presentation, Google Slides, and notes apps.
You might be wondering if you can still use church presentation software while keeping some forms of paper resources like bulletins and programs. Church presentation software is still a benefit to your service, even if you don’t entirely replace your traditional service resources.
By using church presentation software to display some of the items you’d print in a bulletin, you can print less paper and be more eco-friendly while also reaching younger generations through modern technology.
You can also use it to flex your congregation’s creativity and adapt for the future. According to Pew Research, millennials are more likely to own a smartphone and less likely to own a Bible than previous generations. But more on those specific benefits later. First, let’s learn about different worship presentation software and what each one can help you with.
The Best Church Presentation Software
While you might be interested in getting some church presentation software, the cost is likely a big factor in your decision. We’ve compiled a list of affordable and/or free church presentation software with various features for you to browse from and see which works best for your church and worship setting.
- OpenSong: Best free, open-source church presentation software
- OpenLP: Best free church presentation software for Linux and FreeBSD
- Song of Songs: Best free church worship presentation software
- FreeWorship: Best for small churches
- Presenter: Best for large churches
- Slipity: Best Mac and iOS users
- Praisenter: Best for lyrics projection
- Quelea: Best for sermon note integrations
- SlideDog: Best for simple stage display support
- Big Screen: Best for multilingual Bible verses
Learn more about church presentation software here, or try one of these other lists for software that meets your needs:
- If you’re using a Mac, you might want worship presentation software that works best on Macs
- Free church presentation software, if you’re on a budget
5 Church Presentation Ideas & Tips
Now that you've taken some time to learn about which church presentation software platforms and features might work best for your congregation, it’s time to play around with how you’d implement it in your specific church setting.
It’s important to remember there’s no wrong or right way to do this - a lot of it is trial and error and troubleshooting with staff to see what works best. But we’ve come up with a helpful list of church presentation ideas and tips that can help you get the process started.
Promote member involvement and creativity. You can customize your presentation templates with your church’s brand, logo, and design elements. If you know anyone in your congregation passionate about design, invite them to join the tech team to create the worship slides for the gathering. This can make the slide background feel more creative and personalized.
Recognize that less is more. Like most technology platforms, people don’t want to read a lot when looking at a screen. Use church presentations to hit the high points with important information, but keep the word count to a minimum to ensure engagement with audience members.
Integrate your software technology. Integrate your church presentation software with other platforms like OneNote or create a PowerPoint presentation, so you can make presenting your sermon even more hassle-free.
Use it to build a tech-savvy congregation. Worship presentation software doesn’t just have to be about a slide and song lyrics. You can use it as a springboard into exploring other kinds of digital church technology like the ChurchCenter app and other free resources, which can help you connect with your congregation from anywhere.
Remember that technology is the church’s friend. When used in the correct context, technology can reach others that are usually unreachable, connect with those we care about, and better engage with the future generation of the Church.
Where To Go From Here
Implementing church presentation software has the potential to simplify a gathering with streamlined media, create connections, improve church communication, and more. Does your church use worship software? If so, what kind? Let us know in the comments below!
There’s always more to learn when it comes to incorporating technology and media into your congregation. For more information, read this article about technology and the church, or this article about the benefits of technology for churches.