The year was 1994. I was in high school and had just recently discovered what it meant to have a relationship with the living Jesus. I began attending a Vineyard church in Indiana with my family and I remember being blown away by the visual presentation.
It was amazing. The lyrics were actually on the walls of the sanctuary rather than having to be read out of a song book. Also, there was no bulky overhead projector anywhere. In fact, the background for the presentation screens was even in color! To my amazement, the main points of the pastor's message even appeared on the screens at the most appropriate times in the sermon.
Looking back over twenty years now, yes PowerPoint was a giant leap from the days of overhead projectors and song books. But boy oh boy have we made progress! If you would have told me back in 1994 about some of the things that churches would be able to do with visual effects today I probably would have responded by asking whether you would be taking your hovercraft or your flying car to get to church on Sunday morning. The presentations are simply that much better.
Products such as Media Shout, ProPresenter, Easy Worship a revamped PowerPoint and others like them have literally changed the landscape of visual presentation effects in the church over the last decade. From incorporating text and graphics into video to creating multiple layer video platforms and integrating live feed internet shots into the worship service, these various software tools have taken visual presentation to heights not even considered back when I was amazed by being able to read song lyrics on the sanctuary wall.
In this field of visual presentation the technology continues to be improved and innovated so quickly that it is nearly impossible to stay on top of it all. Just this spring alone—new versions of Renewed Vision's ProPresenter and Media Shout have been released. Also Seraphim Software is releasing their brand new C interface in the fall. These products continue to take visual presentation to new heights.
Do you want to be able to Sync worship songs to lyrics and simply press play to listen and sing along? Now you can. Do you want a simple, ultra-easy-to-use interface solely for volunteers to use on Sunday mornings? Now you can have one. Do you want social media management and integration? Now you can have it.
Do you want total environmental integration to consume your entire congregation into a worship experience? Now you can have it.
As you can see, the face of visual worship presentation is in the midst of drastic change once again. New products and software will change the way that we present Jesus to the throngs of people that do not yet know him. Be sure to catch our story in Worship Facilities Magazine this summer to see a detailed description of the opportunities that are on the forefront of visual presentation.