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How many words should be on the screen?

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  • How many words should be on the screen?

    I'm guessing that when you lead worship, there's usually a projector and screen with song words.

    How many words are on the screen, and why?

    Does your church use
    such a giant font that the
    songs are all cut up into
    tiny bits that don't flow

    nicely into lines?

    Perhaps I'm unusual:
    I like to see a whole verse
    of a song at once. It should be laid out
    into proper lines that make sense
    so I can feel the shape of the music
    and get a feeling for where we're going

    but the
    modern style

    seems to be
    towards using

    even fewer words
    on each screen?

    What do you think about it?

  • #2
    I like more words on the screen, yet our challenge is our ceilings are only 8 ft high. If we put more than two lines of words on the screen people can not see them when they are standing during worship. It's a compromise.


    • #3
      For us, it's about making the most of the space. We make the text as big as possible so that everyone in the room can read it clearly. This means we usually have 4-8 lines on the screen at one time. We do often split verses/choruses up into multiple frames, but not as much as I've seen other churches that only offer once phrase at a time, but we always split in places that feel natural to the flow of the song.

      I really don't care how text is displayed as long as I'm able to read every word as I'm singing it. IMO, as long as we're insuring that everybody can see the words clearly, the other stuff is just personal preference. The same way one person doesn't like only a line or two on the screen, somebody else will complain if there are too many words on the screen.

      Practical Worship

      Please Pray For My Wife


      • #4
        We are constrained to the top half of the screen due to our stage arrangement placing the screen almost smack-dab in the middle of the stage, and a low ceiling. Meaning, it's jut barely over people's heads so if we use the whole screen people couldn't read it without looking around someone else. Plans are to go to 2 flat screen monitors on the sides where there is more room to work with.

        There really isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' way to do it outside of common-sense guidelines. Where one person likes a complete chorus or two on one screen to give a sense of where the song is going, others use minimal words at one time to keep the focus on a particular spot in the song, to let the line or two sink in without people skimming over it to see what's coming next.
        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


        • #5
          What do I prefer and what do I get??

          I prefer that the presentation of the words make sense. That means
          1. The congregation can see all of the words (the bottom third of our screen is worthless for that purpose).
          2. The font is consistent within the song, and from song to song.
          3. The words on the screen are spaced so that the presentation matches the musical phrasing. For example:
          Jesus loves me, this I know
          For the Bible tells me so.
          Little ones to Him belong.
          They are weak but He is strong

          Jesus loves me this I know for the
          Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him
          belong. They are weak but He is

          What I get is:
          1. The video tech tries to fit all the words to a section on a single screen, so it goes all the way to the bottom of the screen.
          2. Consistent font! (YEA! -- our guy is awesome at this. Arial 42 is our friend!!)
          3. The second example of word phrasing.
          4. To not have to do the presentation myself.

          I'm thankful for 2 and 4 now, and just have to work slowly on 1 and 3.