Projecting lyrics may not always be the most exhilarating part of Church Media, but there’s no doubt that it provides a valuable service for those in the congregation. It’s particularly important for newcomers who are less likely to know the songs in your worship team’s repertoire. Because of this, it’s critical that we do our best to design our slides to be both functional and attractive. (Even if people don’t truly read the lyrics you’re displaying, they’re still likely to be distracted if your slides look all jacked up!)
As I’ve visited different churches and studied their media practices, I’ve noticed that it often isn’t huge mistakes that keep lyric slides from looking their best. Instead, it’s the little things that subtly stand out. (Sounds kind of like a small foxes spoil the vine sermon to me!) So, for the next several weeks, we’ll be discussing some quick tips that are super easy to implement, but will make a big difference in your Sunday morning media.
• Stick To 2-4 Lines Per Slide
The quickest way to add confusion and distraction to your lyric slides is by having too many lines on the screen. It may be the easiest route for you because it requires less flipping through slides, but this lazy way out is not the way to go. Fill each slide with 2-4 lines max so that it’s easy for new singers to jump in at any time without having to do a word search on your screen. (This also makes it easier for people to close their eyes in prayer/worship and pick right back up when they open their eyes again.)
• Bully-free Slides
Some people describe this problem as “orphans and widows,” but I’ve always instructed my media volunteers to avoid having bullies on your slides. Simply put, don’t create small lines of text surrounded by large “bully” lines. While still keeping with the general flow of how the song is sung, arrange your slides to have fairly equal line lengths.
• No Commas or Periods At The End of Lines
This is day one stuff, folks! These are lyrics—not sentences that require absolute, perfect punctuation. For a much cleaner look, ditch the commas and periods on the end of lines. The line-break is more than enough for your congregation to recognize that there is a separation.
Are you guilty of these mistakes? What are some more tips for better lyric slides? Be sure to check back with us next week for more tips!
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Kendall serves as a Creative Pastor in Baltimore, MD. He is a graphic designer, video editor, and all-around media geek—but also takes great pride in teaching and serving on the pastoral staff in his local church. Together with his beautiful wife, Holly, they strive to use media to spread the message of Christ and equip others for ministry.