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    Raising the bar: Church Slides 101 — how to make worship powerpoints

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    How to Make Great Church PowerPoints

    How to Make Great Church PowerPoints

    We only do church slides!  Our goal is to help you create a gorgeous and meaningful worship service that connects Seekers with Christ.  We have created a How To Make Church Slides PowerPoint to give you expert advice and have a bit of fun along the way.  Please click on the photo below.  The How to PowerPoint will be downloaded to your computer.  You may click on it and watch it once or download it as a reference tool. It is our gift to you - enjoy!




    The Advent-ure

    It's almost here - Advent!  A time of excitement, joy and hope. For the screens it's totally a crazy adventure!  The lyrics of all the songs have people like shepherds, angels, wise men, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, lowing cows, mangers, stars - oh my!  How do you find images that work and don't look cheesy?!  Three words: Star of Bethlehem - it works for almost every Christmas Carol or anthem.  Good luck - I hope that your Advent is full of joy!

    Walk in Faith

    I have been given the most amazing gift from the Holy Spirit - the gift  of creating stunning, visually striking worship visuals. It's a crazy gift. Ten years ago I would have laughed at the idea.  

    One morning I walked into church and there were these huge HD screens on the walls.  I didn't know it then - but in that moment my life was changed.  Long story short - a few months later I became the volunteer designer of the screens. In the beginning I was not very good at it.  I studied church symbolism, graphic design, worship visual classes and met with my Pastors and graphic designers. I prayed and I improved a bit. But I had a long way to go.

    One afternoon I was alone at church. I was struggling with a song - I did not know how to express visually the positive power of the Holy Spirit.  I prayed a long time and became aware of an energy surging through me and around me - it was astounding, marvelous and a bit scary - all at the same time.  Afterwards I felt a drive like I had never felt before - it consumed me.  I spend so many hours creating the worship visuals that my pastor would tell me to go home.  But I could not - I had an interaction with the Holy Spirit that left me profoundly changed and I knew there was something there I was suppose to do.

    I liked to say that my skills improved over night. They did not. It took much longer. I am blessed with a wonderful family, I worked full time and would work on my churches' screen on the side. And eventually something started shifting. After my moment with the Holy Spirit I knew I had been given a gift - I also started believing in this gift.  The screens started looking amazing - very different than most of what is out there.  Full of color and movement and power - I leaned into it. And I designed more and more creatively.

    One Sunday, the congregation was singing the song Stand.  It was crazy but they were all sitting. I designed the worship visuals for that song to build as the music builds. I use numerous images throughout the song - each building in power so that at the end - the music and visuals meld into this glorious energy. The last image was all these believers standing together and the sun breaking though their raised arms. When that slide when up on the screens - the most amazing thing happened.  The Pastor stood and the congregation stood with him. You could literally feel the power of the Holy Spirit in the room. Now it was not solely the slides - the musicians and the music were amazing but the slides were a part of building that moment. It was a glorious moment. I wanted that moment for all people.

    At the same time, church visitors started stopping by the tech booth after the worship service to ask me how they could get these slides for their church.  I had been feeling a nagging pull that I should be doing more with the gift I had been given. So a few years ago I stepped out of the boat and started Envision Worship.  Again a crazy thing to do - we were in the midst of the recession, I had just lost my job - it was a total walk in faith.  Thankfully I am incredibly blessed with a husband that believes in my calling.  We are funding Envision Worship.  We are thankful it is growing but we also know that we will be funding it for a few more years.  Over the years I have worked - sometimes two jobs - to keep Envision Worship going.  But each year I have learned new things that have helped me reach out more.

    We feel incredibly blessed to be a part of Envision Worship.  It astounds us that our PowerPoints are in 19 countries and 43 US states. Christmas and Easter - we are a part of so many worship services - last Christmas over 100 Christmas eve services - can you imagine? It is so humbling - there is so much more in this than us.

    So why am I sharing all this. I wanted you to know a little of whom I am and why I started Envision Worship.  For me it all about helping people connect to Christ - helping churches to use images that are positive, gorgeous and build the worship experience.

    I also want to create community for churches designers - often only one person in a church does this - every week - all year long - year after year.  They often struggle over what image to use to express the meaning of the lyrics. I am still the volunteer designer at my church - I am one of you. My hope is that this website gives you ideas and spurs your creativity. And I want to thank you for creating the worship visuals at your church.

    Each of us is given gifts by the Holy Spirit.  If you have not recognized your gift yet - I hope you discern it soon.  And then I hope you will take a leap of faith and utilize your gift to make our world a better, more positive place. God bless, Lisa

    How to Make a Church PowerPoint



    How to Create a Church PowerPoint


    By now you are wondering "What did I get myself into?! Yes - I know how to create a PowerPoint but I've never done a PowerPoint like this before!" Don't worry - you can do it! I have been in your shoes and I am here to help you create an amazing worship PowerPoint for your church.

    I recommend designing for one song at a time. Depending on the sermon topic you could have a wide range of song lyrics - joy, despair, hope, prayerful, etc.  Normally the opening songs are powerful and full of life to get the worship experience started. The middle songs tend to be prayerful and quiet and the songs at the end of the service are full of hope and positive energy.  

    It is hard to picture one image that could communicate all those different types of feelings!  Can you picture an image that would work for Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons and Mercy Me's I Can Only Imagine?  Or if you create PowerPoints for hymns: Thy Word and Joyful, Joyful, We adore Thee?  Each of these songs evokes very different feelings and need different images.

    So how do you pick which image to use? Good news - this is the fun part!  You are in this position for a reason - believe it or not - like it or not - you were called to lead the worship visuals at your church.  Now you just have to figure out how to fulfill that Call.

    The first thing to do is pray - invite God into the process.  Then turn on the music, shut your eyes and listen to the song.  If you are at band or choir practice just sit in the back and listen.  If not, then YouTube is a wonderful free resource.  Just search for the song and pick a singing group that looks like it might be similar to your church's music team.  For instance, if your church has a band, choose a contemporary band; if you have a choir, choose a choir.  The best choice is the original artist's version as the lyrical quality with be at its finest.

    Turn on the music - BUT DON'T LOOK AT THE IMAGES ON YOUTUBE!  Sorry for shouting - but you were the one that was chosen - first try to figure out the images yourself. A lot of videos on YouTube use images that are a cheesy or have nothing to do with the lyrics.  I once saw a video welcoming the Holy Spirit to worship and the image was a baby duck. Really - a baby duck?!  Hmmm… how about a dove or an amazing (non-scary) flame or a sky full of northern lights - now we're talking!

    So you have your eyes shut and you are listening to the music - and you start to see things in your head. Hmmm…they are talking about hope - what does that look like - a beautiful sunrise/sunset, a seeker with open arms or the sun breaking over the horizon? Perhaps they are singing about despair. How about a person bent over in prayer? Or maybe they are singing about joy. How about a dancer celebrating on the beach or children jumping for joy or a sunrise? You get the idea - let the music take you to new places. After you have an idea of what images would work – go find them!

    Envision Worship is a marvelous resource for you. Since it is designed specifically for churches, you can search it by worship categories – personal faith, change, Holy Week, Christmas, children, stars, and many other choices. Go to Envision Worship and look through the PowerPoints for the images that you imagined. Listen to the music while you search the images. It will be there - all of sudden you will say: “Oh - there it is.”

    Great - now you have your PowerPoint template - how do you put the words in it?  The great news is the Envision Worship PowerPoints are designed to be easy to use and are especially designed for worship. You are given different font sizes and styles. These were selected to make the PowerPoint easy to read. In addition, the animation is already built in - the slide will transition seamlessly and professionally.  Title slides are included along with prompts to remind you to add the composer, copyright and CCLI number. 

    Adding the lyrics is easy!  If you are designing for contemporary songs then most likely your church has a contract with CCLI - the church music licensing company.  Get your church's log on information and search for the song. Once you find it click on the Lyrics tab and then copy and paste the lyrics into your PowerPoint slides. If you are doing a hymn, you can google the hymn lyrics. You will need to double check with your hymnal to make sure you have the right version.  You may have to make a few changes. Or you can just type in the lyrics.

    Be careful how you are dividing the words across the slides.  It's important to get the phrases together. You don't want to break the text mid-sentence and have to go to the next slide. The tech team will have a hard time getting the next slide up in time and there will be an uncomfortable gap. I've added a sample slide to illustrate how to divide the slides.

    Each song should have a title slide, lyric slides and then one last blank image slide at the end. The last blank image slide lets the music play out after the lyrics are done.  Make sure you hit save button!

    You did it! You designed a PowerPoint for worship! This is the beginning of an amazing journey.