One thing that is true of churches around the world is that each one has its own unique context, problems and budget. While all of this individuality is great, it also can create a challenge when it comes to worship presentation software and equipment. Some churches are small and run one screen for everyone off of one machine, while others run multiple screens simultaneously. Others may use multiple computers to control different aspects of their graphics and lyrics presentation, while other churches don’t.
As churches change and grow, they need to have the ability to shift and adapt their worship environments to be formatted differently. Maybe they go from one screen in the room to one screen and a stage display for the band. Maybe they go from one screen to two screens. These changes require presentation software that is adaptable. Regardless of the setup your church uses, I believe that ProPresenter can help churches do what they are currently doing well, and also help them change and enhance what they will do in the future as the Lord leads.
ProPresenter is a powerful tool your team can use to lead in the ministry of lyrics and graphic/media presentation. My goal isn’t to prescribe one option as right and others as wrong. My hope is that these ideas will encourage you to try something new at your church, or enhance what you are currently doing so that you can reach more people with the life-changing news of Jesus.
Here are the many ways I have seen or personally used ProPresenter in churches.
A single-screen presentation setup is when only one screen for the audience is attached to a computer display in the sound and lighting booth. You only have to manage this one display to present lyrics and worship content for your room. This is classified as a simple setup.
Even in this arrangement, you can present quality room content to your church in a way that is straightforward and effective. The downside here is there are no ways to help or serve any of your stage teams with individualized content. You can split the computer display to go to as many screens as you want, but it will be the same look across all screens.
One Audience Computer Display and One Stage Display
In this robust setup, you will have one computer display routed for the audience view, and another computer display setup for routing stage screen content only. This arrangement is great because it allows you to deliver quality content for your audience and customized content to your stage screen, allowing you to show countdown times, video countdowns, special notes and more.
This setup is often used in churches with two screens (sides right and left). They will duplicate the computer display for the audience two times and send it to the projectors. Then on stage, there will be monitors for the stage feed.
Two Audience Computer Displays and One Stage Display
This setup is excellent for churches with a back screen or LED wall with content for the room on side screens. The structure is two audience screens and the stage screen. A church I currently serve uses this setup to show lyrics in the room and on the web with lower third content (Audience Display 1) and then a background screen behind the band with background and lyrics formatted center screen for that setup (Audience Display 2).
At this church, we also use two stage screens (two TV setups where one is a left and right feed, so I can control which layout goes to each).
This setup begins to offer you maximum creativity and flexibility. You can show what you want on each screen according to your needs for that service. For the many churches that do lyrics for their screens and background screens, this will be the perfect setup.
Three Audience Computer Displays and One Stage Display
This setup is where we get more complex. Some churches may be running three audience screens and one stage screen. This setup can be used if a church wants to run unique lower thirds for the stream, and lower thirds in the room that look different. This setup could also be used to run a triple-wide setup look with three screens tied together into one composite screen.
Another setup your church could consider using ProPresenter 7 for is to run a program feed from your switch to a ProPresenter 7 station elsewhere in your building where an online host can also be. By running a program feed and then an online host recording spot, you can have both a pre- and post-show for online viewers and build an online experience for them.
With all controlled by this Pro 7 setup, you could cut into worship when ready and come out immediately at the end of the message. It is a great way to customize your worship experience for the people you engage with.
As your church grows and changes, it may become worthwhile to have multiple ProPresenter machines doing different tasks at a certain point. With network and Network Device Interface (NDI) capability, you can begin to have specific machines performing specific roles on your production team, such as:
* a dedicated sermon note machine
* a dedicated lyric machine
* a dedicated props and animated control
You could then run these different machines into a Pro Video player setup to control your displays and feed specific content where you want it to go.
As you explore different options, don’t let a fear of new technology or a we’ve-always-done-it-this-way attitude deter you from experimenting. Try something new and see if it works for your church. You may find that it is easier than you think.