All posts tagged design

8 Things To Remember As You Prepare For Easter

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Easter Sunday is less than a week away and it’s likely that your church will experience your highest attendance numbers for the year. We all understand that making a good impression on visitors is crucial and that it’s important to communicate the Resurrection message in a fresh way to your regulars. But I’ve been in ministry long enough to know that this week can be really rough on the people working behind the scenes. Because there’s so much emphasis placed on this one Sunday, there’s a lot of pressure to strive for perfection and do extraordinary things, all while still finding time to do all of your normal, weekly duties. It can be downright exhausting.

Here are eight things to keep in mind during this hectic season:

1. Your hard work is worth it.

The hours that you’re pouring into making this service special are so important. Easter Sunday matters because people matter. Each individual who walks through those doors on Sunday was created by God with a purpose. Your hard work and dedication are leading the way for them to connect with the risen Savior.

2. Going the extra mile can make all the difference.

No matter your role in Sunday’s service, give it all you’ve got. When we give our best, we can have confidence that we’ve done our part and that the rest is up to God. Remember that even the smallest detail of a service could be the one thing that stands out to someone; the thing that keeps them coming back to hear more about Jesus.

3. Easter Sunday is important, but so is your family.

This is where it gets tricky. Yes, it’s important to work hard and give our best to make Sunday great. But, we have a responsibility to our family that should always come before the church. In the midst of the craziness, make sure that you’re connecting with them. Be intentional to show love to your spouse. Spend some quality time with your kids. Be careful that this doesn’t become the most dreaded week of the year for them.

4. Two is better than one.

The more people that you can get involved in your Easter service, the better. Not only will it take some of the pressure off of you, but it also helps to get more people to attend your big service. Experts say that you can expect four additional people in attendance for every person involved in an event. For example, if you have 25 people involved, you can expect them to attract 100 friends and family members. Even if it’s a small task, get people plugged in.

5. Everything cannot be perfect.

This is always a tough one for me. I’m all about striving for excellence in everything that we do, but you just can’t do it all. Rather than stretching yourself thin with a long list of projects, focus on a few things and give them all you’ve got. Place your emphasis on the projects that will make the biggest impact on your crowd and are the most noticeable.

6. No matter how hard you try, something is still going to go wrong.

Expect problems to occur – that’s simply the nature of Sunday morning. No matter how many times you rehearse, proofread, or practice, mistakes are going to happen. This is especially true when you’re working with technology. ProPresenter may crash in the middle of service. A microphone may malfunction mid-song. Stuff happens and it’s out of your control. Expect it and prepare for a quick comeback.

7. The power of God is not limited by your budget.

No matter the size of your church, you have to work within a budget. Some budgets are smaller than others, but we all wish we could spend more than they allow. This is a good thing – our dreams should always exceed our budgets. Keep in mind that the power of God far exceeds anything that you could purchase to make your service great. Use what He’s given you to its fullest potential and let Him cover the rest.

8. Jesus wants to connect with you.

In the midst of all of this work for God, we often forget to connect with God. You’re at your best when you’re in communion with Him and you need Him in this season. Be intentional about seeking Jesus in this week leading up to Easter. Remember that this is all about Him. This Resurrection Sunday, let us lead the way in having an authentic relationship with the risen Savior.

 

Free Motion of the Month – April 2014

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This month, we’ve partnered with the good folks over at Shift Worship to bring you an awesome motion for your Easter service. It comes from their new Lightburst collection that’s a recent favorite of mine. Be sure to check out their All Access Pass for more motions like these at a great price!

This freebie is only available for the month of April 2014.
This download includes HD, SD, and Still versions.
This motion is free to download, but please do not redistribute. (Please link back to this page.)

To get this free motion, simply subscribe to receive our weekly email newsletter. You’ll receive your download link via email within the hour.

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Five Media Tweaks To Make Immediately

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There are many aspects of Worship Media and a million ways to improve your presentation, but sometimes it’s the smallest steps that make the biggest difference. Here are five practical tweaks that you can make for Sunday that will make a noticeable impact in your projection.

1. Create A Template For All of Your Lyric Slides

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 12.21.02 AMConsistency is key for excellent presentation on Sunday mornings. Templates make it super easy to coordinate and keep all of your songs looking their best. Choose a dependable font and text size that are easily visible to everyone in your congregation.  (Here are my font recommendations.)

2. Retire Outdated Content

framed-hands copyIf your church has been using media for a while, you’ve probably accumulated quite a bit of content. Styles come and go, so it’s healthy to regularly comb through your library to remove some of the older stuff. It may be time to retire that one background you’ve used a million times or just delete the ones that don’t really work in your space. Keeping your media library tidy goes a long way.

3. Split Larger Lyric Slides

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 12.20.12 AMThis is a rookie mistake that can really throw everything off. I’ve seen slides so jam-packed with lyrics that it made my head ache. Keeping with the flow of the song, split larger chunks of lyrics into multiple slides. I recommend displaying 2-4 lines of text per slide. Use pauses and transitions (verse to chorus, etc.) as natural splits.

4. Coordinate Media Throughout Your Service

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It’s a must that your lyric backgrounds match in both color and style. But to add an additional level of intentionality to your presentation, coordinate the rest of your media elements. Start with your sermon slides and match your motions, countdown, and announcement slides from there. (Service Packs make this really easy and are available from all major media producers.)

5. Display All Scripture That’s Spoken From The Stage

Sermon_Slide_Template-Images.002It’s become pretty standard for churches to display their pastor’s sermon Scripture, but I recommend going a step further. It’s common for Bible passages to be read at other parts of your service such as openings, worship, and offering, too. Touch base with all of your on-stage leaders before service so that you’ll be prepared to project their Scripture. This little bit extra of planning will go a long way for your audience.

 
Do you have any other tweaks that you’d recommend?

6 Affordable Ways To Promote A Sermon Series

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One of the most practical ways to equip your congregation to invite their friends to church is a sermon series. It gives them a tangible event where they know the exact topic that will be discussed. This makes it a lot easier to explain to their neighbors and coworkers because it’s not just, “Hey, you look like you need Jesus. Do you want to come to church with me?” Instead, it’s something exciting that will only be happening for a few weeks and, if you’re doing it right, will have a topic that is appealing to the outside eye. A series gives outsiders an excuse to check out your church for the first time.

Here are six easy and affordable ways to get the word out about your sermon series and equip your church family to invite their friends:

1. Invite Cards

This is one of my favorite ways to spread the word about a series. You can get 1000 business cards printed with your series details for around $25 and put them in the hands of everyone in your congregation. I like to give everybody a bundle of five cards and encourage them to personally invite five people to come check it out. Be sure to include your series graphic, dates, times, address, and website. Printers that I use regularly for these cards are Overnight Prints and Next Day Flyers.

2. Shareable Social Media Graphics

Social media is one of the best ways to spread the word about events, but you can take it a step further than simply posting on your church’s profile. Provide downloadable square (612x612px) promo images with all of your series details on your website. This will allow people to share them with their friends on their own Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles. The potential for reaching people in your community is endless with this method.

3. Exterior Banners

It’s likely that numerous people drive by your church every single day. Take advantage of this by hanging a large banner that’s easily visible by drivers. Next Day Flyers has a 10’ x 5’ banner for only $140 that we’ve purchased several times for promoting events. When I was promoting for our movie theater church in Baltimore, the cinema manager even allowed us to display banners like this for movie-goers throughout the week.

4. Facebook/Twitter Ads

Facebook ads and promoted posts are super affordable and truly reach a lot of people. They are also really easy to target a very specific audience. These ads have been really effective for us. Also, Twitter has recently added some extremely powerful tools for advertising with graphics. Nothing stands out more on a feed full of 140 character tweets than a large photo.

5. Post Flyers Around Town

Take advantage of every community board within a 20 mile radius of your church. Print some flyers with your series graphics and post them at Starbucks, Panera Bread, and anywhere else that will allow it. These kind of places get a ton of traffic and require people to wait in line for their food. This is the perfect opportunity for them to read up about your upcoming event.

6. Email Current & Past Attenders

Have a database full of email addresses from people who have filled out your connection cards? Why not send out an email with the details of your series? Keep it quick and use images, rather than words, to do most of the communicating. Services like MailChimp are perfect for emails like this and have templates that make it easy to plug in your graphics.

 

Have you found any other affordable ways to promote a sermon series?

 

Five Tricks To Click With Confidence

Five Tricks To Click With Confidence

Projecting worship lyrics on Sundays may not be the most exciting part of Church Media, but there’s no doubt that it’s important. It plays into what I consider one of the most essential responsibilities of the local church – going above and beyond to make it easy for people to get involved. When you provide lyrics to your worship songs, you put everyone in your auditorium on an equal playing field. Whether they’re in a pew every Sunday or haven’t darkened the doorway of a church in years, providing lyrics makes it easy for everyone to participate.

Because lyric projection is such an important part of the Sunday morning experience, I consider it the responsibility of those involved in Church Media to give it their all. You are just as crucial to that moment as those on stage! You have the potential to point people towards Christ or be a distraction.

Here are five tricks to help you stay on top of your lyric game and click with confidence:

1. Label Your Song Elements

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 4.38.42 PMThis is a small adjustment that will make your life easier for years to come. Labeling all of the components in your worship songs makes it super simple to follow along with your worship leader. When you’re in a pinch and need to display a verse or chorus quickly, you’ll be thankful for this simple labeling system.

2. Outline Your Lyrics As They’re Sung

pro5_song_groupingThis may not work in all churches, but it’s awesome for worship teams who sing their songs in a particular pattern each week. Outlining your lyrics in the exact order that they’re sung enables you to confidently click to the next slide. Not having to worry about displaying the wrong words makes a big difference when you’re making an effort to display the next line before it’s sung.

3. Listen To Your Worship Set All Week

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 4.53.12 PMThis is an easy habit that everyone involved in worship on Sundays should pick up. Have your worship leader create a shared Spotify playlist with your worship set for that week and listen to it as a part of your daily commute. By the time Sunday comes, you’ll already have the songs in your head.

4. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 4.57.04 PMFor congregation members, once they see a typo in your worship lyrics, it cannot be unseen. It will stick out like a sore thumb and distract for the remainder of the song. Avoid the chuckles by proofreading your lyrics before service. There’s nothing worse than a tap on the shoulder with the news that you’ve been projecting “How grate is our God” for the past five minutes.

5. Test Everything Before Service Begins

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 4.58.52 PMThis tip not only applies to lyrics, but every element in your service playlist. If your motion background is too fast or skips, you’ll want time to fix it before you have a crowd staring at your screens. Make sure your words are clearly visible over all of your motions. Confirm that your sermon slides are in the correct order. Ensure that your mini-movies play correctly. When you’re confident that everything is in tip-top shape, you’ll move through each service element without stress.

Have you tried these tricks before? Do you have any others that you’d add to the list?