I began leading worship in the 1990’s. I would conduct with my right hand and flip acetate sheets on the overhead projector with my left hand. Every Sunday I would have to prepare my transparencies. I’d take my songlist to a rusty old filing cabinet and pull out the overhead sheets for each song. I’d then carefully stack them together, in order, careful that none of them were backwards or upside down. Once I had my folder full of slides I’d guard them with my life. My greatest fear was that they would get mixed up and I wouldn’t discover it until verse 2 of “Shine Jesus Shine” turned out to be a backwards lyrics to “Jehovah Jireh.”
These days I have no such anxiety. The overhead projector has been replaced by a Hi Def LCD projector (or is it a DLP projector? I’m not even sure). I have a projectionist sitting at a computer running lyrics through a program called ProPresenter. There are several different lyric projection products on the market, but when we we were upgrading our video systems we found that ProPresenter was the most reliable and easiest to use. It interfaces very well with CCLI, Planning Center and plays most video formats without much trouble. It can handle the PowerPoint presentation that the guest speaker shows up with 10 minutes before the service as well. If you’re still using PowerPoint, you simply must upgrade to ProPresenter, EasyWorship or any of the other programs designed to project lyrics for congregational singing.
And another fun fact about ProPresenter: it was used to manage the video screens at several venues during the 2012 London Olympics. These days technology usually comes from the entertainment world into the church, but in this case it was the opposite. ProPresenter was developed originally for Louie Giglio’s Passion conferences – and now it used around the world in churches and other venues that need real-time control of multiple video sources onto one or more video screens.
It sure beats flippin’ overheads.