Most of us do a good bit of year-end analysis about our worship ministry. As I’ve been thinking about it, there are three things that have yielded a surprising amount of benefit and encouragement for our team.
As a Bible church, we use a lot of scripture. But back in November, I saw something at the Dox & Theo conference that really took it to a new level. In a couple of the sessions, Matt Boswell mentioned that they would project scripture during musical breaks – guitar solos, turnarounds, intros/outros. In truth, speakers talked it about more than they actually used it in the sessions, but I was instantly intrigued. What a great way to reinforce that we are singing things that are Biblical! I knew it would take a little work, but I immediately began the process of reformatting our projection slides to feature scripture. We’ve done it for a good month-and-a-half now and it’s been received far better than I even imagined.
Here’s how we did it:
- Naturally, we started with just one Sunday. I pulled up the list of songs and started digging for scripture. For me the toughest part was deciding if these scriptures were going to follow and thereby “prove” whatever we had just sung or if the verses were foreshadowing of what we would be declaring in the next section. For most of the songs, I’ve opted for a “foreshadowing” principle.
- Because I wanted to protect myself from just using my favorite verses, I did a lot of research, often typing lyrics into Google and then adding “+ scripture.” (This was easier for our hymns as many hymn sites include suggest scriptures.)
- Since we’re adding more and more verses to the catalog, I adopted a plan when I did worship planning. I’d look at the songs already formatted with scripture and make a quick list. This prevented me from doubling up when adding new songs or putting in scripture readings, call to worship, etc.
- The biggest challenge has been reorienting our projection folks on their timing. Since many interludes/turnarounds aren’t very long, our guys have to be quick on the mouse to make sure and give people enough time to read the verses.
- I also discovered a hidden benefit – FREEDOM. Now, we can do an extended turnaround or an instrumental solo and I don’t feel like I have to “fill up the space” by talking over it. Having scripture in those breaks also meant that folks would be looking at the screens more and us less.
Anybody else doing this? It’s very cool.