14 Sep 2016
For as long as I can remember, the standard for using backgrounds in worship has been to assign one still or motion to each song. But with the growing amount of media that we have available, as well as the more creative our worship services become, I think it’s reasonable to challenge that old school method.
In the same way that the music changes throughout a song and takes you on a journey, you can do the same with your backgrounds. You can use stills and motions to tell a visual story and really pack a punch in the powerful moments of a song.
There’s certainly a responsibility to this. Changes in graphics have the potential to be more of a distraction than an aid. But, I believe if executed properly and with intentionality, using multiple backgrounds in a song can bring a unique improvement to your service.
There are several different methods for arranging multiple backgrounds in your music. It will require thought and planning for each individual song. It’s best to take time outside of Sunday to experiment so that you have time to select the perfect choice for each piece. You can get really creative with this, but here are a few typical layouts:
- Use one background during your verses and another during the chorus
- Use one background for the majority of the song and another in the big, climax moment
- Use a different background for each part or element of the song
There is no right or wrong layout, but the goal should be to make your visuals feel like they flow naturally with the progression of the music.
When selecting multiple backgrounds for a song, remember that they should complement one another. Avoid jumping to different styles. Emphasize the various parts of your song by using backgrounds that differ in aspects such as color, animation, speed, and imagery.
Other Things To Consider
Just because you can do this for each song doesn’t mean you should. I typically do this for only one or two songs in a worship set. It has a greater impact when it isn’t the norm.
If you’ve never used multiple backgrounds in a song, a special Sunday like Easter or Christmas could be a great time to debut this effect.
It’s easy to get the same effect with only one background by using the various image controls in your presentation software. For example, you can adjust things like color, blur, and speed to create an entirely “new” background inside ProPresenter.
What Do You Think?
Have you ever used multiple backgrounds in a song at your church?
Is this something you’d consider adding to your worship?
Backgrounds provided by Church Motion Graphics.