Church presentation software has come a long way since MediaShout first began developing it in 1999. If you haven’t upgraded your worship software recently, then you are probably missing out on some great features. So let’s talk about the future of worship software.
Now in 2021, the most recent update to MediaShout is Version 7.3. Some of the notable features include flexible, Powerpoint style slide editing, Sermon Builder for the quickest sermon notes and scripture slides ever, and the ability to insert lyrics and scripture on the fly for spontaneous moments in services. (These along with the staples MediaShout has offered for years like a lyric library, 70 versions of the Bible for automatic scripture slides, and more).
Modern Worship Media Styles
So what are some practical things we’ve noticed about modern worship media styles? A lot of the current trends seem to go with the modern, clean, “less-is-more” aesthetic. Keep the fonts clean and basic. These look the best and are the easiest to read. Also, make sure you’re not overloading the slides with too much text. Remember, fewer lines are easier to digest. It is much easier for the congregation to sing along when they don’t have to glue their eyes to the screen to keep from losing their place reading. This applies to displaying worship song lyrics as well as projecting scripture text and sermon notes. MediaShout 7 comes with great ways to help get you started with this. Its beautiful ready-to-use templates provide for a fresh new look for your worship slides and church presentations, without the daunting challenge of starting from scratch.
Besides presenting lyrics and scripture for church, worship software is now often used to show video announcements in many churches to save time and engage the congregation instead of having announcements from a host or speaker. This also helps with seamless transitions from the announcements to whatever comes next in the worship service. Utilizing video content is one of the great ways to update your church presentations. Countdown videos (you can find thousands on MediaShout’s media store) or your own “welcome to our church” type videos are great ways to kick off your worship gathering.
Speaking of video, let’s jump into live streaming. 2020 was the year that just about every church who could do so took the leap into live streaming worship services. Now, worship presentation software is used to not only show lyrics and scripture to the congregation in person but also on live video feeds of church services. (One popular technique is to display lyrics and scripture on lower thirds over top of live video sources). If your computer is powerful enough, MediaShout 7 can be used to handle both jobs at once with a little adjusting, when used in combination with free streaming software like OBS. Or thanks to the site license that’s MediaShout’s most popular choice when purchasing, you can put it on multiple computers if you’d like to use a separate computer to handle the live stream.
Another feature that’s prevalent in modern worship software is the ability to display cues for worship teams and musicians on the stage through a separate video output. With MediaShout 7.3’s stage display feature, you can send the main slide content like lyrics, scripture, and text, along with the first line of the next slide, clocks, countdowns, and/or text cues to the worship team or pastors on stage. (This feature is also popularly referred to as a confidence monitor). Having a stage display comes in handy in so many ways. A clock helps everyone stay within their time limit, and cues can help with any important messages that need to be relayed or direction that you need to communicate to the worship team on stage. If you haven’t started utilizing a stage display, you need to try it out with a free trial of MediaShout 7!
So how about the screens for the congregation? One thing to watch out for to keep your stage from looking dated is what backgrounds you are using. Modern worship backgrounds tend to be more simple or some may incorporate high-resolution nature scenes. They are still colorful and bright, but they are usually not busy and full of distracting designs or harsh textures. If you need ideas, look again to the MediaShout Media Store which is full of professionally curated content for worship gatherings. And if you have MediaShout 7.3, you get dozens of backgrounds in a free download when you purchase the program, and included on the templates and Sermon Builder designs. Overall, choosing church backgrounds that have a nice clean modern look will do wonders for the people who read the screens during the worship gathering. Older readers will be able to see your text more clearly, and younger ones will appreciate the aesthetic. Backgrounds set the tone and can put people at ease or make them feel like something is off or clashing. People are used to seeing professional media in the world today. The church needs to stay ahead of the game creatively and bring beauty to our church gatherings. God is the ultimate Creator after all, so let’s follow Him in this area as well.
Another change that MediaShout has worked to develop features for is that many churches aren’t sticking to a flow sheet as much as in the past. Church-goers are looking for an authentic and genuine worship experience on Sunday mornings. They don’t want a performance, they want the presence of God. With that in mind, the teams leading need to be open to the Holy Spirit and flexible with how things go during the gathering. Sometimes parts of songs will be repeated or new ones will be thrown in on the fly. This means the person running the worship media software needs to be ready for anything and able to accomplish it. MediaShout 7.3 makes it easy to add lyrics and Bible verses at any moment. It is also important to watch for distracting typos and fix those during the service as needed (you can do that in real-time with MediaShout’s slide editor and control screen).
In the early days of worship media and church presentation software, you’d find mostly technology enthusiasts and experts behind the computer. But today, one of the most exciting things about worship software in 2021 is that it’s easier to learn than ever before. MediaShout 7.3 was designed to give churches the powerful features they need, but with a design that’s easy for just about any ministry volunteer or staff member to operate. From the building stages of your church presentations all the way to running the media computer on Sunday mornings, if you can navigate apps on your smartphone, you can run be proficient on software like MediaShout.
Do you need help getting started with church presentation software or worship media as a whole? If so, we’ve got great news. MediaShout has many resources like free live webinars so you can get your feet wet with modern worship software, or a fully functional free trial so you can try it yourself and learn their easy-to-use worship software at your own pace. And if you need help, they have the best church media tech support options around.
What advantages in modern worship software have you seen? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!