10 Tips for Preparing and Executing Worship Slides

Carl Barnhill

I travel at least once or twice a month to another church.


I can usually tell right away where a church is in there design quality with a quick glance at their worship slides. I can tell whether the church has an in-house designer or a volunteer with no experience in graphic design is designing worship slides.


Don’t hear the wrong thing here, I’m grateful for volunteers willing to step up and get things done that need to get done for your congregation to worship.I will say that your screen content is one of the most visible venues for everyone in your church. It’s worth the effort and time to make your worship slides and screen content impactful.


Allow me to give you a few quick tips for Preparing and Executing your Worship Slides:

1. Limit your lines of lyrics to 3-4 lines of text. Never go more than this. 

No big explanation here other than it just looks better and cleaner. We’re not using overhead projectors anymore, slides need to be clean and simple and not contain huge bulks of text that is hard to read.


worship slides


worship slides

2. Be consistent with your fonts and font size.

Choose one font for all your lyrics for the whole day. Choose a font size that is readable but doesn’t overwhelm your screen.


(Check out my article “5 Go-To Worship Fonts” for more on this topic.)

3. Choose Non-Cheesy Motion Backgrounds.

Cheesy clip art or rainbow backgrounds are not only just poor design, it distracts your congregation from worshiping.


worship slides


worship slides

Suggested Tweet: "Poor design may distract your congregation from worshiping. @carlbarnhill"

4. Lead lyrics!

I can’t stress this enough. Nothing is worse than being late on lyrics. It halts the worship of your people. We’ve all been there – you’re singing along and you’re 2 lines into the next slide before the operator advances to the next slide of lyrics. A good rule of thumb for leading lyrics is to advance to the next slide when your worship leader sings the next to last word on the slide.

5. Never let your audience see what’s going on “behind the scenes”.

You never want to see a cursor, a desktop background, another program, or anything else on your screens besides media content from your presentation software.


worship slides


worship slides

6. Avoid Repeated Lines or “Hymnal Directions”.

If you sing one line repeatedly, it should be on one slide and the slide should be duplicated in your presentation software. Don’t use directional statements on screen – remove all words and phrases like “REPEAT 2X”, “MEN ONLY”, “BRIDGE”.


worship slides


worship slides

7. Set up your presentation software in the order of the service.

You should primarily be using the space-bar to advance your way through your media content. You should only use your cursor to catch a worship leader on a rogue lyric or to fire a video element.

8. Set up consistent Capitalization and Punctuation Rules.

There are some varying views on this, but I’ll tell you what I usually land on: My rule of thumb is to only capitalize names of God and pronouns like “I”. Another good practice is to only capitalize the first word of every sentence. I also never use commas, periods, or punctuation marks – you’re not winning grammar awards here – you’re making slides nice and clean for people to worship. Another acceptable option is to us all capital letters for lyrics.


worship slides

worship slides

9. Care for the orphans and widows.

Don’t leave one or two small words hanging by themselves on one line. Break lyrics up where they make sense when reading them and produce your slide where there are roughly the same length on each line.


worship slides


worship slides

10. Gently encourage your leaders to not make any last minute changes.

In my experience, very last minute changes affect the concentration of the team and can throw your execution game off. Train your leaders that your service starts when the counter drops and set guidelines to when is too late to add content to your presentation.

Suggested Tweet: "Share these 10 Tips for Preparing & Executing Worship Slides. @carlbarnhill"

Some people have some varying views on these tips, but for the most part, you’ll find most designers agreeing with me. Spend the time to make your slides look nice and enhance your experience. It’s worth it.

About Carl Barnhill

Owner, Church Visuals

Carl Barnhill is a creative entrepreneur, motion designer and author. He is the Owner Church Visuals, a company that helps Ministry Leaders visually communicate the Gospel. He is the host of the Your Visuals Matter Podcast. You can find him in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Katie and two sons, Jacob and Wesley.

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