5 Unconventional Church Media Ideas To Try


08 Oct 2014

If you were to ask the people who know me best, they would tell you that I am a creature of habit. My happy place is located on the corner of routine and structure.

While these can be great things, it often leaves me lacking on the spontaneity scale.

Because of this, it’s very common for me establish a method for something, then stick with it for quite some time. Sometimes even stubbornly.

But, every now and then, you need to change things up.

We should always be asking ourselves how we can improve the way we’re doing things.

Over the past few months, I challenged myself to think outside of my traditional Church Media box. Rather than simply following the industry standards, I sought to find new ways for accomplishing our media on Sundays that worked uniquely for our church.

The results were astounding. 

In this time, I came up with five unconventional ideas that may not work in every media ministry, but they’ve been game-changers for us.

1. Using All Caps For Worship Lyrics

Worship Lyrics

I’ve been involved in Church Media for over a decade and have stood firm that sentence case was the proper way to display lyrics. I’ve even shared articles on the science behind it being better.

However, I made the decision to move to an all caps template for our lyrics and have thoroughly enjoyed the results for several reasons. It matches all of our church’s branding – a HUGE win for me. It looks great on our unique screen size in our theater church.  And, it even seems to be a little bit more inviting to read as it keeps a good shape.

2. Keeping Our Lyrics Slides In Order

Worship Lyrics

For years I have been an advocate for keeping the bare minimum of necessary slides for each song in ProPresenter. I reasoned that operators should know the song well enough to flow with the worship team wherever they might lead, in whatever order that might be. But for our church, that rarely happens.

For over a month, we have used a backing track for nearly every song in our setlist. With exception to the endings of a few powerful songs, we sing our music the same way each week. Why not take away the guesswork for your operator and put in your lyrics exactly as they’re sung?

We made this switch and our volunteers are confident in their clicks and faster at getting lyrics displayed.

3. Displaying CCLI Information In A “Disclaimer” Fashion

Worship Lyrics - CCLI

I don’t know that anyone in Church Media necessary enjoys displaying the ugly CCLI information on their slides, but I despise it.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe displaying it correctly is the right thing to do. I just think the generic way in which most presentation software formats this information looks gross.

To combat this, I created a new template in ProPresenter. We show this copyright information at the bottom of it’s own slide at the end of each song in a very small font size (just legible). It has a similar look to the small disclaimers at the bottom of TV commercials.

We also show this slide as quickly as possible (1-2 seconds). This method meets all of the requirements of the copyrighted materials, but distracts from worship minimally.

4. Using One Set of Motions For An Entire Series

Worship Background Set

For as long as I can remember I have been passionate about using a different collection of motion backgrounds each Sunday. I reasoned that if we had access to a variety of content, we should keep media fresh every service.

However, over the past four weeks, I decided to try using a consistent set of backgrounds throughout our series. While I had personally grown weary of the same motions by the last week, our congregation loved how it kept an overall theme for the services. This method also makes a huge impact when you start a new series with fresh motions.

5. Matching Your Logo Image To Your Media

Piedmont Chapel Logo

How often do you change the logo image in your presentation software? Probably never.

This is often a set it and forget it component for most media ministries. After all, having consistent branding in each service is important.

But, what if you were able to keep your branding and keep a consistent theme with your motions and sermon artwork? That’s what we’ve recently done and it looks awesome.

By using an all-white version of our logo and placing it over a corresponding background image, we are able to keep a consistent look every time we default to logo. It’s a small change that makes a big impact.

Do you have any other unconventional Church Media ideas worth sharing?

Backgrounds by Church Motion Graphics from the April 2014 CMG Mega Pack.

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Kendall Conner

Kendall Conner serves as the Creative Pastor at Piedmont Chapel in Greensboro, NC. He is a graphic designer, video editor, and all-around media geek, but above all enjoys seeing lives changed. Together with his beautiful wife, Holly, they strive to use media to spread the message of Christ and equip others for ministry.

Comments

  1. I’ve been the office manager of my 80-member church for the past 2 1/2 years. About 2 months ago I was able to get with our guy who does visuals on Sunday morning to make some changes. At first I had him change the lyrics to all small letters except anything referring to Jesus, God or the Holy Spirit. The next week I found it to be very distracting; I didn’t like it. I saw some of Piedmont Chapel’s practice service pictures and noticed the all caps for lyrics. I had our guy change our slides and LOVE it! I also had him change the typeface to Gill Sans MT, non-bold, no shadow and the backgrounds to black instead of the waterfalls, mountains, and cheesy Jesus pictures. Looks much more contemporary!

    I long for the day we can afford Pro Presenter! For now, SongShow Plus on a very old laptop is all we have to work with. It gets the job done, but I can’t wait until we have better tools.

    Kendall, THANK YOU for all you teach us on your blog. You’re my hero! :) I have NO design training, but what I learn from you makes our little church look a little more media savvy. You’ve been such an inspiration and a great teacher! And I try not to be jealous of all the great work I see on Piedmont Chapel’s Facebook and website pages! Thank you, thank you!

  2. Love it! Is there an all caps feature in ProPresenter? The copy over is a hassle if its not capped out already. I have been using http://convertcase.net but its an added step.

    • In edit mode make your first slide (or any slide for that matter) all caps. Then hit “apply all”. Let that minister to you.

    • You can also use a template and apply that to one song, a selection of songs, or the entire library. I use templates for different series and can switch between all caps, a hand written type font, or simple text. Makes life much easier.

      • Kendall Conner : February 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

        Great idea, Charles!

        • Although using a template would change the font, however, you’d have to have a font that was an all upper case font. Any previous edits made for lyrics will only update with an all upper case font. Unfortunately if you want the same font that is not an upper case, you would have to edit each slide.

          You could also put the lyrics in a text edit program, like Notepad ++ or TextEdit, and change the lyrics that way and import to ProPresenter and create a new version of a song.

  3. I love these ideas. We’ve recently been able to step it up in our Student Worship so i’m enjoying being able to try out some ideas and new things so thanks!

    Do you mind sharing what font you are using for your lyrics? I know it’s part of your logo as well, that’s so cohesive it’s great!

  4. We get our lyrics from Song Select. I can’t imagine rewriting each of them to have all caps. Easy way to do that?

  5. Just like Amanda, I would like to know if you could please share the font that it used for the lyrics? and possibly what size font you use with ProPresenter?
    If you could share that would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you

  6. Is it possible to create a template for Uppercase lettering in ProPresenter?

  7. I’ve had a problem trying to bring in our church logo as a png into propresenter. I thought clicking on “props” would give me the upper most layer and would work with pngs. Is there anything that you can do to put a logo into a corner or middle area over background stills or motions? Perhaps I saved my png wrong and the software didn’t like it. The “transparency” part was colored black, it was locked into position and filled the space. I wanted it to be able to move around and over backgrounds… Any help?

  8. Great ideas. 2 quick things: (1.) one Sunday we deliberately chose to have NO caps in any of the songs except for names of God. We had so many people comment on how their eyes were naturally drawn to focus on the various names of God that we sang that morning. Of course, we set it up by explaining what we were doing and WHY we were doing it and that also helped with impact. (2.) I attended a church in Nashville that had a separate slide at the end of the service containing “Today’s Music” on it. All the CCLI information was listed on one slide that people could quickly see (some took snapshots with their phones so they could download songs later). I thought it was an interesting way to give the information.

  9. Another awesome article. You have become my new best friend (forever)! I often get frustrated when I see lyrics and the pronouns for God, Jesus, Holy Spirit are not capitalized. I guess if everything is capitalized then I won’t have that problem. I like highlighting the Savior though so I will try it both ways: all caps and Gerron’s suggestion. Blessings!

  10. Hi I am a new reader and am excited to gain some new tips and fresh ideas. On that note, Wow great ideas. I have been involved with church media for quite some time. My current role is videographer but I’ve done Media Shout and even power point. I’m going to pass this along to my people doing Pro Presenter.

    You ideas are simple but I mean that in a good way. Often times simplicity is so much better than all the bells and whistles. Apple products come to mind… The idea of all caps is nice it has a visual appeal to it. When I do lower thirds for our videos I use all caps and I like the look of it. Matching your logo to your media is a great thought. We can incorporate in our services. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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