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.