4 Tips For Running Effective Church Tech (even on a small budget)


I’m going to date myself but when I started leading worship and helping with at my church, a typical Sunday looked like this:

  1. Show up an hour before rehearsal and pick out . (“’s see… we’ll do Jehova Jireh, Ancient of Days, I Give My Heart and maybe we should introduce that song, I Could Sing Of Your Forever!”)
  2. Run-off a bunch of photocopies of chord sheets with most of the correct chords penciled in.
  3. Insert about 50 slides into the 4400 Slide Projector (oops, I we’ll have to do without the lyrics for that new song!)
  4. Run through the songs with just enough to to the bathroom before the service starts.

I wish I could say I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.

Fast a few years. Our new youth says “why
don’t we purchase a and projector and get with and use
PowerPoint?” Wow, we were high ! Then, sometime around 2003, that same
youth pastor says “you’ve got to check out this presentation .
It’s called EasyWorship. You can even use behind the lyrics to enhance
the worship time.” Yep. We never looked back.

Scott Breault – New Church, Escanaba MI

Almost 20 years later, this is what a typical Sunday…err…week
looks like:

Monday: Pick out the worship set and plan the service.

Tuesday: Make some tweaks to the order of service, finalize the worship set and send out the Center requests to the worship and tech .

Wednesday: (This is where it gets fun) to the media booth, open EasyWorship 7 and the songs, graphics, videos and any being displayed into the schedule. Go through the motion packs and drag and drop the motions that seem to the tempo and mood of the song.

Thursday: Mow the lawn (or shovel snow), Spend time with .

Friday: Program lights, make sure the is ready for the team, and do a run-through of lights, lyrics, presentations, and media while playing the worship set through Planning Center.

Saturday: Mow the lawn that I never got to on Thursday. Spend time with family.

SUNDAY: Drink . 8 am run-through. Start the 5-minute countdown. Start the . 9 am service. Drink coffee. 10:30 service. Eat . Nap.

Okay, I know I said 4 for effective church tech (even on a small budget), so here are those and a little behind the scenes.

1. Keep it Intentional


Don’t do just because you saw it at a conference or at another church. Do out of and purpose. yourself “what, why and how?” What do I want to accomplish? Why is it ? (, it is ) How can I do this effectively? One of the things I’m very intentional about is our motion backgrounds and stage lighting. Those things can either cause distraction or be a powerful for removing distractions and helping focus. Make sure what you are doing is achieving the latter. Don’t use fast, bright motions on slow, contemplative songs. If you’re using colored lights then make sure the colors or complement the backgrounds you’re using. Think about how colors affect . Cool. Warm. Energetic. Calming. Be intentional.

2. Keep it practical


It’s easy to look at what the “big churches” are doing and get discouraged. Don’t get discouraged. Keep looking at what the “big churches” are doing, be inspired and scale it down to what fits your resources. LED walls and heads are the rage. I get it. They look awesome. We can’t afford those things right now. How can I get a similar look on a small budget? We looked at LED tape, and movement of and textures across the stage. (We built this set for around $500 and it has been our backdrop for the last 1 ½ years)


Our monitor setup: We are running desktop, main , foldback, and . The main goes into a splitter that sends the signal to the front projector, secondary monitor and video switcher. The video switcher goes out to our , and TVs throughout the church.


Our live stream setup: We use the Blackmagic Studio HD as our video switcher. We have the PC running the main display and alpha and a couple of . This allows to show videos and media as well as our cameras on our live stream. The alpha allows to do lyrics over the feeds during worship.

Our lighting setup: Luminair $99 on an , EZ Kling controller $99, LED tape setup $300. ( and are your .) Inexpensive LED lights that we’ve purchased over the years.

3. Keep it updated


Seriously. Keep your computer updated. Keep your software updated. Make sure you’re using the recommended for what you’re doing. If you can’t afford the video card, , and processor required for HD video, then use still backgrounds. You want things to be reliable during the service. It can still look and professional. Use , sans serif fonts. (not comic sans) No more than 4 lines per slide. No outline. Soft shadow if you need the contrast. Remember, it’s our job to remove distractions not create them. Keep your equipment updated and keep your look updated.

4. Pass it on

Don’t just find people to push buttons. your volunteers. Teach them to troubleshoot. Teach them the “what”, “why” and “how”. Communicate your vision and most importantly, build healthy with them.

Some of the things we’re looking to do in the near future are IMAG and syncing our lights and lyrics with our clicks. (All of which EasyWorship 7 has the ability to integrate with.)

I’ll leave you with this: Don’t make things complicated. You
could have all the and resources in the but if you don’t know how
to use them then they do you no good. Learn how to effectively use the tools
and resources you have. Sometimes that you to into a level of
creativity that give to all sorts of new . Thanks for taking
the time to read this blog. If you have any specific questions about our setup,
feel free to me on FB or send me an . scott@newlife906.com

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