Projecting Excellence – Where to Put the Song Title

By now, I hope, you’re aware of the fact that I strongly believe worship leaders need to care about how the lyrics are projected. It’s one way to serve the congregation and ensure that as few distractions as possible occur during the service. All your hours of preparation and rehearsal won’t matter if the wrong song gets projected. You’ll be on your own.

I’d like to suggest that it even matters where you put the song title. This is a very small detail and I’m sure there are varying opinions on this subject – but here’s an example of a slide I think has the song title in the wrong place and why.

Creation Sings bad

Many churches do this on the first slide of the song. At the top of the slide, in big bold letters, the song title sits there and yells at you: “this is the title of the song we’re singing!” Here’s why I don’t think this is a good idea.

  • It makes the song title the most important thing and draws everyone’s focus away from the words they’re supposed to be singing.
  • It takes up valuable space on the slide.
  • It’s unnecessary.

The song title belongs in the “small print” on the slide. See the example below.

Creation Sings good
This is a better way to display the song title for a few reasons:

  • It’s not distractingly big or small. Yes, it’s small on the blog – but not projected on the screen (at least in our room). If people are interested in what the song title is, they can see it. If they don’t care, it’s not screaming at them.
  • It doesn’t take up so much space on the slide.
  • It doesn’t elevate the song title to such a high position of importance.

If your slides resemble the first example – with the song title front and center, underlined and bolded, loud and proud, I would suggest that it’s a distraction for people during your service. Make it smaller and put it lower and I would be surprised if anyone is disappointed.

CCLI has a great and easy tutorial on what information you’re required to project on your slides. Click here.

The song used in the slide is “Creation Sings the Father’s Song” by Stuart Townend and Keith and Kristyn Getty. You can find more info about the song in this post.

4 thoughts on “Projecting Excellence – Where to Put the Song Title”

  1. I have appreciated this blog, thank you. I have traditionally placed the title on its own slide just prior to the song text. This allows us to put the hymn # with any song title that can be found in the hymnal. Not all of our songs can be found in the hymnal, but I love to encourage it’s use whenever we do. Anyway, just a different approach that seems to work in our situation.

  2. I like Dawson’s point about including the hymn number for hymns in the hymnal. I was trying to think about a way to do this when it would be useful (e.g. semitraditional services) — to gently remind folks that they can use the hymnal too, without being too distracting (like the title in your first example) or using a title slide (since the title slide has to come down when the singing starts). In our hymnal the first line *is* the title, so we’d only need to add the hymn number. I was thinking maybe a small note in one corner, not as small as the copyright info but smaller than the lyrics. Upper or lower right maybe?

  3. Hi Dawson and Andrew. Great points about how it can be helpful to include the hymnal page #. I think it is possible to do this without making a huge deal of it and formatting it so largely that it’s distracting. What we’ve done in the past is insert the song title and page # in smaller text, left-justified, and in italics. This gets the information to the congregation – but does it in a way that isn’t as jarring as taking up an entire slide or half a slide.

  4. I have to say–I really appreciate the series of posts on projecting lyrics. For one, it encourages me to know I’m not alone as a worship leader who thinks so much about it (it really is important). For another, I think it shows a real desire to worship *well* (i.e., by bringing your best) that pervades every aspect of the worship-leading experience. Not just the music, but all the details.

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