A few months ago at church we were chatting through some of the little changes we could make to improve the way we did things on a Sunday. In essence we wanted to become a bit slicker and more visually appealing but we also wanted to reduce any barriers or exits to worship.
One of the ways we tried to achieve this was to remove the music stands from the stage. Removing them has been great, unknowingly they created a barrier between our team and the congregation. Vicky Beeching lists this amongst the 10 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Leading Worship.
But achieving this brought it’s own unique set of problems.
Mainly because we couldn’t memorise all our songs, we just are not blessed that way. I, for example, can remember chords but not lyrics, whilst my co-leader Lee remembers lyrics but not chords.
So again we embraced our geekiness and turned to technology for a solution and once the trustees rejected our request for a bunch of iPads (worth a try) we settled on customising a function within our projection software.
We run a great package from Renewed Vision called ProPresenter. During the week we can all add to the setlist or database on our own laptops and any additions or changes are automatically sync’d via the wonders of Dropbox.
One of the great functions of ProPresenter is the facility to run a third screen or stage display. Our setup uses the computer screen as the main control, the second as the main church screen and now a third as our stage screen. We run the third screen via a usb to vga adapter.
As we are a pop up church that sets up each week in a school we simply project the third screen onto the back wall behind the congregation, many still don’t know it’s there . This screen is now used to display lyrics & chords.
And this is how.
First we need to set up the stage display configuration. We needed to make use of the current and next slide views but mainly the notes section. In ProPresenter we went to Window->Stage Display and set the options as below.
Next we needed to create a pages or word template to edit our lyrics and chords. The notes function in ProPresenter doesn’t allow text editing or spacing so this is our workaround.
We set up a template that matches the ProPresenter notes field like this.
Please note that you to make it work we needed to use ___ between chords and make sure we spaced to the end of each line.
Then we simply copy and pasted this into the notes section on each slide.
Now when the main screen is running the stage display looks like this.
We found that this projected onto the back wall allows the whole team to see the lyrics and chords and enabled us to remove all the music stands and chord sheets.
Obviously for the first few weeks the work load was increased but once we had them saved in ProPresenter the reduction in admin was fantastic. Also if we now decide to add in a song mid set, all the chords are displayed to the band.
Hope this helps