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.


It’s brutal. I mean brutal. It feels like the congregation is on a roller coaster ride of singing together. Being late on leading lyrics halts the worship of your people. Here are 3 quick tips when it comes to making sure your Presentation Software Operator is leading the congregation well with lyrics to worship songs:

1. Cast Vision to your Operators that they are Worship Leaders.

Your Lyric Operators are leading worship just as much as your leaders on stage. You’re a team. I’ve visited numerous churches where the Worship Leader on stage and the Lyric Operator never talk to each other! You’re accomplishing the same project – you’re on the same team with the same goal – to facilitate and lead your congregation in worship. Work together. Talk to each other. Change things that need to be changed after Run-Through or between services to make it easier.

Worship Leaders: Give your Lyric Operators as much ‘heads up’ as possible. If you think you may turn another chorus at the end of a song, or if you are feeling something spiritual and want to go into another song, talk to the Lyric Operator as much as you can – the congregation will be with you more if they have words to sing to God.

Suggested Tweet: "Worship Leaders - try to give your Lyric Operators as much ‘heads up’ as possible. @carlbarnhill"

2. Make sure they know the songs and Flow of the Service.

Planning Center and other apps make this extremely easy to prepare your production team with songs before Sunday happens. Be diligent with this task each week. If you’re not preparing your team for excellence by providing them the songs, chord charts, lyrics, or whatever else they need to be successful on Sunday, don’t be surprised if the execution is not as flawless as you want it to be.

Do you have a weekday rehearsal with your band or Worship Leaders? Ask them to do an entire Run-Through of Sunday. Ask your Worship Leaders to work transitions, prayers, announcements and other elements of the service. Even if these elements are fully fleshed out and they are still working on what they will say and do, at least walking through the motions of what is going to happen is helpful. Even something like, “This is the transition between ‘Oceans’ and ‘Good, Good Father’.

I’m going to say something here about God being a perfect Father for us and the band is going to start playing the intro under me. I’m going to move to this part of the stage, grab my guitar and use this mic.” Record the entire Run-Through, break it up and post it on Planning Center. Anything you can give your team to help them be more successful, do it.

Suggested Tweet: "If you’re not preparing your team for excellence, don’t be surprised if the execution isn't flawless. @carlbarnhill"

3. Teach them how to lead.


My rule of thumb for Leading Lyrics is this:


Advance to the next slide when the Worship Leaders on stage sing the next to last word on the slide. I know what you’re thinking – “but some songs are slower or fast than others so it depends”. Yes, I agree, and it can vary slightly, but this is a good general rule of thumb. I would however, teach this rule to all new Lyric Operators. As they got more comfortable, then we could loosen up as they were more familiar with the songs and the cadence of the band.

Suggested Tweet: "Rule of thumb for leading lyrics: change at the next to last word on the slide @carlbarnhill"

Your Lyric Operator is a Worship Leader. Leading lyrics helps your congregation worship. I hope these three tips help you lead all your Worship Leaders well.

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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