How to Use Computers for Praise Worship on Projection Screens
By Leighton Sawatzky
Many churches have replaced the overhead projectors and cellophane sheets they used to project song lyrics with video projectors controlled by computers. Video projectors allow churches to add color and video to the lyrics they project. These advanced features are made possible by the use of specialized software written for this purpose. Setting up a computer and projector for this purpose takes 2 to 3 hours.
Set up the projector. Place it in a location with no objects between the projector and the projector screen. The projector will need to be physically plugged into the computer, so make sure you have enough video cable to cover the distance. Be sure the projector is also in range of a power outlet. The details of this process will differ according to the projector you are using, so consult the owner's manual for detailed instructions on how to set up your projector.
Connect the projector to your computer. Connect the video cable plugged into the projector's video input to the computer's video output and plug in the projector's power cord. In many cases, your computer will automatically recognize the projector as a video output device and install the appropriate drivers. If your computer does not automatically recognize the projector, you may need to manually install drivers for it. Again, this process will differ between projector types and you will find detailed instruction in the projector's manual.
Install the projector software on the computer you wish to run the worship presentation from. There are a number of suitable programs available, ranging in price from free to $400 and more. Specific instructions on how to install the program you choose should be included with the software.
Configure your computer and presentation software to display the presentation through the projector. The presentation software will allow you to display only the content of the presentation on the projector, while the program controls remain visible on the computer screen.
Create a presentation of the worship songs you wish to use during the service using the software on your computer. Most programs have slides of song lyrics bundled with them or available for purchase. You might also want to include scripture readings or sermon notes in the presentation. Different versions of this software will operate differently, so consult the instruction manual or operating disc that came with your software.
Run the presentation when you begin your worship service. You will be able to either set the lyrics to proceed on a timer or manually switch slides. It is recommended that you manually control when slides switch to ensure the correct slide is displayed at the correct time.
- Video projectors are very complicated pieces of technology and setting one up requires some technical expertise. Get help from someone familiar with the technology if you're unsure how to do it yourself.
Leighton Sawatzky began his writing career in 2008 as a writer and editor for the research magazine "Conscientia." After earning his Bachelor of Arts in communications, he went on to earn a Master of Arts in philosophy at Trinity Western University.