What Can Worship Software Do for Your Ministries?
By: Jesse Lewis
Worship presentation software is an investment. And, like any investment, we want to make sure we are getting the greatest return out of it. But, many local churches are under-utilizing this valuable resource because they only use it in the main Sunday morning worship services, when, in fact, there are a number of church ministries that can benefit from it.
Before we get into possible applications, though, we need to discuss software licensing. Some software companies allow you to load your worship software on as many computers at the same church campus as you like – this is called a "site license." Other companies allow you to install the software on a certain number of computers before requiring you to obtain additional licensing. Licensing is important because, often, different ministries meet in different areas of a church campus. So, the first step is finding out where on campus computers are available and whether or not you are able to load your worship software on them.
Assuming hardware and software are not a limitation, here are some possibilities:
1. Children's Ministry
2. Youth Ministry
3. Seniors' Groups
4. Men's Ministry/Women's Ministry
5. Small Groups
These are just a few of the many applications for your worship presentation software. You have invested a lot of time and money in getting the software functional for your church. Now think outside the box and experiment with new ways to use it.
Using Blank Screens
Certainly, almost every church should be using imagery during the service. But, remember, projection is a complementary tool. What is done on the screen should flow with the rest of the service. And sometimes, projecting nothing is the best we can do.
Here are some service points where you should consider projecting nothing:
* A quiet, reverent moment of worship when the congregation is completely silent
At those times, having something on the screen can potentially be more of a distraction than a help. Again, the goal is to flow with/be a part of what God is doing during the service – and sometimes, doing nothing at all is the best way to accomplish that.
What Video Can't Do
However, as Sally Morgenthaler pointed out several years ago, there is a danger that comes with this change. We tend to start depending on the style to replace some of the big things the church is called to do…namely, evangelize and disciple.
Videos can do a lot for you. They can bring practical application to a message. They can make a message point more memorable and stir the heart. They can enhance your worship time. They can help you communicate information in a way that grabs and keeps the attention of your audience. They are an important ministry tool.
But, videos cannot go out and form a friendship with the guy who goes to Little League games on Sunday mornings. Videos cannot serve in the soup kitchen, or bring groceries to shut-ins.
Let's face it: to have creative communication in your church service (videos, dramas, sets, object lessons) takes time and effort. So do evangelism and discipleship. A healthy church is a church that has found an effective way to do all of it.
And there is no shortcut – the only way to do it all is for every member of the body of Christ to step up and do what they are called to do.
We need each other, whether we realize it or not, to be fully engaged in the cause of Christ. So, this week, encourage your brother or sister who has been sitting on the sidelines to get back it the game. It is game time, and we need them on the field!
Jesse Lewis is president of www.WorshipFilms.com.