Projecting Excellence – Making it Easier for the Congregation to Sing

I’m a big believer in making sure the lyrics that are projected during corporate worship are done so with care and excellence. If worship leaders really want to remove distractions, oftentimes one of the first places they could look is the screens. Lyrics that are thrown onto a slide and projected onto a screen with little thought given to how well they serve the congregation will usually communicate a certain degree of confusion and messiness.

I’ve written before on the importance of line breaks, font size, keeping things in context, typos, where to put the title, whether to use all caps, alignment, and copyright info. Today I want to touch more on the issue of line breaks – especially how to place line breaks intentionally to help the congregation follow along.

This Sunday at my church we’re teaching the song “Revelation Song” by Jennie Lee Riddle. It’s a beautiful song, and while it’s a very simple song, has some tricky parts.

Listen to the second verse – and while you do, read along to the slide below:

A bit confusing, isn’t it?

Now listen to the verse again but follow along to the slightly tweaked slide below:

In the first example, the lines keep running on even though there is supposed to a break in singing. In the second example, where the melody line rests, the line breaks. It’s easier to follow along and prompts the congregation to either keep singing or take a break.

While most people in the congregation might not be able to point specifically to the line breaks as helping them learn the song – it can actually help a great deal whether they realize it or not.

It takes some forethought and someone who cares enough to listen to and sing through the song, to make the slides present the lyrics in a way that will serve the congregation. It will make a difference in how comfortable your congregation is with joining in on songs, especially new ones. 

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