Churches: PowerPoint vs Video Presentations

A Worship PowerPoint is unlike any other PowerPoint presentation in the world. Within seconds of the slide flashing up on that big screen, several hundred people will start singing the lyrics – hopefully at the top of their lungs! Designing worship PowerPoints is much more fun than your traditional work/school presentation.

Why PowerPoint?

It is amazing how many choices there are for worship visuals.  PowerPoint is just one of many. I have tried different presentation platforms and chose PowerPoint.

There were three really important reasons:

  1. Quality images and design
  2. Cost
  3. Recruiting volunteers

I want the worship visuals to strengthen and build the worship experience. I want to be able to design for the song. What are the words saying? What kind of beat or rhythm is there?  Does the image strengthen the worship experience? I wante more than swirling olive green or a fake Jesus. I want it to feel authentic, contemporary and real.

Quality images and design: I love all that you can do in PowerPoint. You can use still images and videos. You can have incredible backgrounds that come from numerous sources: your own camera; Envision Worship, stock photo sites and congregation members.

PowerPoint allows you to quickly design a service that engages and efficiently serves all the needs of worship. Trust is a huge part of worship visuals. Trust by the congregation that the words will be correct, in the right order and easy to read. You have to meet the needs of every age group: 5 year olds to 90 year olds. In PowerPoint, you can easily control the font size, adapt text boxes to increase readability and move slides easily. You can create custom animations for title slides. And break the lyrics where you want them to break. The PowerPoint software is designed to be an information vehicle – there is wonderful flexibility in the design options.

Other Programs: One program I tried ran videos in the background. That was kind of cool. But many of the videos were color on color with a slow flowing movement. I’m not sure what an olive green flowing background has to do with the lyrics of Amazing Grace or 10,000 Reasons. They didn’t seem to truly connect with the lyrics. There are religious videos that could be purchased but many did not look authentic and often the speed was off so they cycled through in overdrive.

Secondly, I could not control when the lyrics broke between slides. Mid-sentence the lyrics would break on to another screen. Eventually I was able to wrestle them into place but it took a lot of work. To be fair, it was a while ago that I tried this other format so hopefully they have improved it. I choose PowerPoint and I have always been happy with the results – especially since I have fun with it!

Cost: PowerPoint comes with most Microsoft software packages and is often included in the cost of the computer. The cost of additional worship visual platforms can be up to $400. Then you will need to purchase the media for the program. If you are using PowerPoint you can basically skip the $400 additional cost.  

Recruiting the volunteer tech team: Try to think of someone in your life that has not seen, created or clicked through a PowerPoint. Everyone is comfortable with PowerPoint and most people have created a PowerPoint presentation.

Feeling comfortable with the worship presentation program is very important. You will need a fairly large and evolving tech team to cover 52 weeks’ worth of service(s) year after year.  Recruiting volunteers is easier when they believe they will be successful at the new task.

Plus what happens when a last minute change is needed to the worship service and you are sick or on vacation? These are all important factors to weigh when you make your decision.

I know of many who use PowerPoint and many who use the other presentation software. The majority of the churches who project lyrics use PowerPoint. Take your time making your decision. Listen to your gut – you are here for a reason. Choose a program and then go for it! God bless!


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