A month ago I began a series that I’ll pick up on every once in a while titled “projecting excellence”. If worship leaders want the congregation to be engaged in worship, with as few distractions as possible, making sure the words are projected with excellence will go a long way. You can practice for hours, but if one verse is left out, you’ll be singing a solo. You can prepare all week, but if there’s a glaring typo, the congregation might be too busy snickering or too confused to know what they’re supposed to sing. Worship leaders should care about the big details and the small details.
So far we’ve looked at line spacing and font size. Today I want to look at the importance of keeping the lines of a song in context with each other. We’ll use Stuart Townend’s “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” as an example.
Here’s an example of how the first half of verse one is kept in context:
And now here’s an example of how the verse is unfortunately split up into two slides.
In the first example, a couple of things are happening. First, a complete thought is presented together – not split up halfway through. The congregation is given time to see, sing, and consider the truth the Father’s deep love is shown in him giving up his only son. Second, the congregation isn’t being bombarded with transitioning slides every 10 seconds. A slide with a complete thought is able to “sit” for a while.
In the second example, the two slides that split up the sentence, a couple of things are happening that I think are unfortunate. First, a complete thought is being spliced in half. While I’m not suggesting the average person in the congregation only has a four-second memory span, by the time the second slide pops up and we’re singing “that He should give His only Son”, we have forgotten that this is what shows us “how deep the Father’s love” is for us. Second, the slides are constantly being changed. This can become somewhat jolting for the congregation, not to mention the person advancing them!
When I’m leading a congregation in corporate worship, my hope is that they will be responding to the great truths we are singing. It helps people respond to great truths when they’re presented in a thought-out fashion. Try to make sure your slides keep sentences and thoughts in context. This is a small detail that can make a big difference.