10 Things to Consider When Buying Worship Software
By: Jesse Lewis
Many churches around the country are recognizing the limitations of Microsoft Powerpoint in a worship setting and are seeking other solutions.
There are a number of good church presentation software packages available, and it is a significant decision, because your choice will impact your worship service in a tangible way for years to come.
Here are 10 key factors to consider before you make your final purchase:
Can you access songs and scriptures "on the fly?" Can you make an edit while an image is being projected, so that you can correct typos, etc.? Can you change backgrounds in the middle of a song?
2. Background Options
Does the software allow for text over video? Does it accept Flash files? Does it allow for a live camera feed as a source on which you can overlay text?
3. Control Screen Interface
How easy is it to navigate the software's control screen (and to teach others to do so)? Is the interface intuitive, or are some elements difficult to locate? How quickly can you make changes?
4. Access to Scriptures
How does the software access scriptures? How many different translations of the Bible are included in the purchase price? Are additional versions available? What about foreign language versions (if you have that need)?
5. Text Editor
Does the software have a built-in text editor? Does it import Powerpoint files easily? What kind of background options do you have when projecting text? What kind of text animations or transitions are available? Can you print the notes that you type?
6. Accepted File Formats
What video and audio file formats does the software accept? Can you play audio files that do not contain video? Will the software accept a video file with audio as a background on which you can overlay text?
7. DVD/Blue Ray Playback
Can the software set an in-point and out-point on a DVD or Blue Ray disc and allow you to put that clip into your service schedule?
8. Song Library
9. Hardware Requirements
10. Support and Upgrades
It is also important to have a good reference manual and readily-accessible online or phone support. What are current users saying about the support they receive?
Most of the more popular software packages have free trial versions that you can download and use on a temporary basis. Experimenting with them is a worthy investment of time and should go a long way in helping you determine which one is most suitable for your church.
Jesse Lewis is president of www.WorshipFilms.com.