Finding The Right Presentation Softeware
It can be tough to decide which presentation software is right for your church.
A digital projection system has its advantages, but it requires a bit of a budget to put it in place. While there isn’t much you can do about the projector cost, the software options can give you an opportunity to save.
Flat screens and projectors displaying lyrics and Bible texts are more or less replacing printed material at churches and places of worship. Because of increasing competition in the church presentation software market, the software solutions for churches have gotten a lot better and more user friendly over the past few years.
There are however, huge differences in how individual churches choose to apply technology in their services and therefore also some big differences in church presentation software – especially regarding features and learning curve, not to mention pricing.
Big churches with multiple projectors, lots of digital content and audio visual effects may need to resort to some of the paid and proven alternatives, like Easy Worship, while other smaller services are well off with a free or inexpensive solution. Our church personally started with Easy Worship until we were able to move onto a paid version of ProPresenter.
If you’re a part of the group of churches that are small or are just starting your ministry, here’s a list of the best free church presentation software available:
1. Free Worship
Free Worship is a Windows only presentation software rich in features. It allows for displaying of songs, images, videos, bible passages, notes and webcams/video cameras. It supports text overlay on videos as well as zoom and crossfade transitions. Currently there is no provision for playing audio in FreeWorship. However it is possible to trick FreeWorship into playing an audio file by adding it as a video. Other neat features include the ability to export words and service lists to PDF or RTF and a live spell checker.
OpenLP is an open source alternative with lots of features for managing and displaying songs, Bible verses, images, videos and more. They support PowerPoint files, but no other slide format presentations. A nice feature is that it facilitates linking songs to audio files for use as backing tracks. It’s written in Python and you can download distributions for almost every popular (and unpopular) operating system.
VideoPsalm has the advantage of being translated into many different languages. It gives you access to more than 10,000 songs and over 90 Bibles. It’s compatible with song and Bible collections from other church presentation software which makes the transition from another product easier. The most important features of VidePsalm are it’s video playback and looping, live editing of lyrics, simultaneous bilingual display and extensive slide formatting options that provide total control over the look-and-feel of slides.
As you can add almost any kind of presentation media available, seamlessly fade in and out between them and use the remote feature to control it via an iPad or smart phone, SlideDog fits nicely into the tool belt of many church technicians. Apart from many of the other church presentation solutions, SlideDog has a much easier and more intuitive user interface eliminating the need for hours of training and getting used to the software. Bible verses and songs can be displayed via PowerPoint slides, PDFs or any other media that SlideDog supports.
Download the latest version of SlideDog for free!
Quelea is a cross platform (Windows and Linux) church presentation software. It has good support for importing songs from online libraries and support several bible formats. You have the ability to display songs, PowerPoint and videos, but it’s their latest Mobile Lyrics accessibility feature that sets them apart from the others. Quela enables you to push out the lyrics to a web page – the lyrics can then be displayed on a mobile device with whatever color combination the user chooses.
Zionworx unique feature is their fast integrated song database, letting you display any song in a few seconds (as long as you are connected to the web and BibleGateway.com’s servers are up and running). It offers support for running Microsoft PowerPoint 2000-2007 presentations and is fully compliant with CCLI licensing laws. As most of the other free tools, it uses a dual monitor configuration to display a control panel on one screen while the visuals and song texts on another. ZionWorx is powerful, professional yet easy-to-use presentation software, designed to meet the needs of churches that want to use multimedia in worship.
ZionWorx is high-quality, affordable church presentation software that does its job with no fuss. Feature-rich yet incredibly easy-to-use, it offers hassle-free video playback with integrated video codecs, plus support for motion backgrounds and live video inputs. It provides a unique integration with BibleGateway.com for instant access to popular Bible translations, as well as seamless integration with Microsoft PowerPoint. Basic training takes minutes, even for non-technical operators!
Zionworx offers a 30-day free trial so you can download, install and fully evaluate the software. This isn’t a cut-down demo version with limited functionality either, it’s the full software so you can explore all the features. If you like what you see then at the end of the 30 days (or before) you can choose to purchase a license key to unlock the software for continued use.
Church presentation software brings many options to our churches. As planters, we want to be able to engage our church and our community with modern, up-to-date presentation software. However, budget constraints or lack of technical expertise can sometimes limit our options. Here are just a few free options to get you started in your ministry. Thank You and God Bless.