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Late lyric slides are a huge distraction in worship. Whether your church uses pro-presenter or powerpoint, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that your lyric slides person understands the importance of their role and knows how to succeed in it, by presenting the lyrics well.

In this short video I give you 5 tips to help your lyric slide operator take their role seriously, feel valued by you, and do an excellent job!

Send this to your lyrics person (or anyone else who needs to see it)!


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How do we help our tech volunteers and our Lyric slide operators, specifically,

to take their role seriously?

I’ve got five tips for you that will help you get a better result

from your Lyric slide operator, plus a bonus tip at the end that will really

help your tech team feel super valued.

I got a question recently from a student in the academy that said, They have

a Lyric slide operator who thinks they can just show up to service without

coming to rehearsal, but then they’re messing up all the slides during service.

And he’s wondering, How can I help them understand that they are as as the band

to leading people into worship.

Here is your first tip, and that is to speak value

into your lyrics slide operator or all of your tech team, honestly.

Help your tech team understand that they are just as important to the gathered

worship experience as your musicians.

It is literally not two teams, it is one team.

We are one team in two different places.

Some people are on stage, some people are in the back

of the room, but we are one team.

Some people play musical instruments and other people play technical gadgets

and gizmos, but we are one team working together to lead the body in worship.

And I love to tell my tech team that you are worship leaders.

You might not feel like a worship leader, but you are just as critical to making

the gathered worship experience happen, and therefore, you are a worship leader.

You’re helping lead the congregation into worship.

The amount of volume you give in the room, the amount of lights that you flash

in their eyes, the timing of the lyrics on the screen all play a part in helping

people express their praises to God.

And therefore, you guys are worship leaders, and I want you to take

your craft and your calling as seriously as you can.

Just because you’re not on stage doesn’t mean you’re not important.

Just because you’re not on stage doesn’t mean you’re not critical and vital

to the worship of God in our church.

And so speaking that value into your tech team, not just once, but constantly,

at every meeting, at every pre-service meeting, anytime you can speak value

into your tech people.

And I have a bonus tip at the end that’s going to really help you do that.

So the first thing I would say is speak that value, communicate

communicate clearly that they are important and that you cherish them

and that they are worship leaders.

All right, the second tip is to set expectations.

Because you’ve infused that value, now you need to tell them that there is more

expected of them as a tech person than simply showing up to rehearsal.

Just as the band is practising the songs at home, the tech team and the Lyric

Operator should be practising the songs, at least mentally, at home as well.

And so you want to clearly communicate that.

I think one of the biggest mistakes worship leaders make is they just

don’t clearly say what they mean.

They hope that people can guess what is expected of them.

No, just say it.

Hey, listen, you’re a part of this team, therefore, I expect you to be practising,

and I expect you to be at the rehearsal because we need you at rehearsal to be

rehearsing for yourself, and we We, as a team, need to get used to seeing

the lyrics on the screen at the right time, and therefore, all around, it’s

better if we’re all at rehearsal together.

So just clearly set the expectation that you want them to be at rehearsal

and you want them to know the songs before they even get to rehearsal.

So clearly really communicate your expectations.

That’s the second tip.

The third tip is to set your lyrics slide operator up for success.

And what do I mean by that?

I mean, help them know the structure of the song.

You know, Planning Centre, if you’re not using Planning Centre,

you should be, not sponsored, just saying, Planning Centre makes it really easy

for you to put the order of the song sequence visible for all to see,

including your lyrics slide operator.

So what I like to do is when I’m building my worship sets on Mondays,

I like to verify that the song is showing the correct sequence so that when my

lyrics person goes and puts the slides in order, that they have the correct order.

And that way, they’re not doubling their work or wasting time

building the wrong song structure.

Now, I will say there are two different approaches to

how you do the lyrics slide software.

Some people like to just have verse, chorus, bridge, and then they just

click the mouse and jump around back and forth without really

having it laid out in a sequence.

And then the other approach is to have the whole song completely

structured as the band plans to play it.

And that That way, all they have to do is press one button at a time.

Personally, I like the second approach.

Even if you plan to be spontaneous, I like to have a plan and then

change the plan if I need to.

But I like my Lyric Operator to only have to focus on one button.

All they have to focus on is the timing.

Press the button at the right time.

Instead of where are they going?

And then they’re dragging their mouse around.

No, it’s just one button, and all they’re doing is watching

and listening and looking at the timing.

That’s my preference, and I would encourage you to take that approach

as well, is to build the structure of the song in the order that you plan

to sing it and just let them focus on one button at a time.

Another thing that setting them up for success means is adding an MP3 of

the order that you plan to play the song so that that way they can listen to it

and they can practise in their mind switching the slides.

At least they’re getting a sense of the timing, the rhythm,

and the structure of the song.

Make sure your planning centre plans have the MP3s of the songs

as you plan to play them.

The fourth tip is to define what you want.

There are three key phrases that I like to use when I’m training my slidesperson.

Let me just say this, a person can’t hit a target if you haven’t first

told them what the target is.

When I say define what you want, I mean literally tell them,

this is what I want it to feel like, this is how I want it to be.

If you need to sit down in the chair and show them while you listen to an MP3

and click along, show them what you want.

That’s what you need to do.

You need to give them a clear picture of what it is you want them to do.

Let me tell you my three key phrases that I share with my Lyric slide operator.

Number one, I never want a congregant’s brain to interrupt their heart.

I never want a congregant’s brain to interrupt their heart.

That is a phrase that I want my lyrics slide person to think about, meaning

I don’t want a person in the church to think, What’s the next word?

What’s the next line? I don’t know.

And then there’s this anxiety.

You never want the people in the pews to feel anxiety about

what they’re supposed to be singing.

They should see it before they need to sing it.

And that’s the second phrase that I like to use.

I want the church to see the words on screen before they need to sing

the words on the screen.

So first phrase, I never want a congregant’s brain

to interrupt their heart.

Second phrase, I want them to see the word before they need to sing the word.

And what I mean by that is you should not be putting the words

up exactly when I’m singing them.

That is too late.

It needs to be a second before I sing them.

They need to see it with their eyes before they have to say it with their mouth.

Those are my first two phrases.

And please feel free to steal these and use these with your people, okay?

Or just send them this video, I don’t care.

But if these phrases help you, great.

Okay, and then the third phrase that I like to say is this, and this is a little

bit more complicated, but follow me.

When I sing the first sound of the last word on the slide change the slide.

So if the last word on the slide is Lord, when I say L,

they can change the slide already.

The church doesn’t need to see that slide any longer.

That word has already been seen.

They’re already in the middle of singing it.

So the Lyric Operator can go ahead and move on to the next slide.

So again, when I sing, the first sound of the last word

on the slide, change the slide.

Those are my three phrases that I like to use to define what I want.

So that was your fourth point, to define what you want.

And also, hot take, what’s wrong with four Lyric lines on a screen at a time?

Who decided in worship that it should only be two lines at a time?

I mean, wouldn’t four lines help people really take in the word

and grasp it more fully?

I don’t know who decided that only two Lyrics get to be shown at a time,

but I say we start a brand new trend and put all four up or six lines at a time.

Let’s go crazy, okay? Okay, that’s my hot take.

And one more thing that I teach my Lyric operators when I’m defining what I want is

if I say the words, sing this with me, let’s say we’re coming out of a verse or

we’re coming out of an instrumental and I’m getting ready to sing and I say,

sing this with me or sing this or sing along with me.

When I say those words, they should immediately put the lyrics

on the screen because it’s so awkward for me to say, sing this with me,

and then the congregation is like, okay, what are we singing?

It causes panic in the church.

We want to sing along with you, Alex, but what are we supposed to sing?

So if I ever say the words, sing this with me,

I want the Lyric Operator to immediately click to the next slide so that

the church can get ready to sing with me.

Okay, so one more tip for you in training your Lyric Slide Operator, and that is to

correct when needed and celebrate often.

So I actually have a free resource under this video called

How to Have Hard Conversations. It’s a free e-book.

You can put your email in and grab that.

If you need help correcting your team members, and you’re not really sure how

to have these corrective conversations, this ebook will really help you

feel more confident and comfortable to have these confrontational conversations.

They’re not scary, and they don’t have to be mean, and this ebook

will equip you with how to do that.

So correct when needed and celebrate when successful.

So how I like to correct is to tell them what they’re doing well

and then to offer a suggestion.

So if you have to correct your Lyric Operator, you would say something like,

Hey, you’re doing a great job at this, and I love how responsible

you are in this, and whatever.

Share some praise and then say, But if I could just please make one small

request, could you also start doing this?

So You start by telling them what they’re doing well, and then

you ask for one small request.

Could you also please make sure that you’re hitting that Lyric

just half a second earlier?

That would be so helpful to me and the team.

And always, when you’re correcting, always explain why.

Because people They might not like what you’re saying, but they can

get behind why you need them to do it.

And then they’ll be like, Okay, I can do that.

I get it. So explain the why when you’re correcting.

And then the other opposite side of that is to celebrate often.

When you see them doing what you want, tell them, say, That was perfect today.

The slides were perfect today. Great job.

I’m so grateful for you.

You’re doing an awesome job.

Because what you celebrate gets repeated.

What you praise gets repeated.

So anytime you have a chance to call out and encourage someone, do it.

Do as often as possible.

Okay, so those were my five tips, and I have one bonus tip that maybe you’ve

never done before, but very important.

And that bonus tip is to call out your tech team in the service.

Not call out in a bad way, but call out in a good way.

I want you to actually, after the time of singing is over,

after you pray and say Amen, before you tell the church to greet one

another or whatever you do at that time, say, Hey, guys, for one second,

can we all just look back at the sound booth and can we just give a big round

of applause to Brian and tell him how grateful we are for setting up all

the tech and making these services happen.

We couldn’t do this without him.

We couldn’t do it without all these volunteers.

And name as many of them as you’re able.

If you do that in service, one, they’re going to hate you because they’re

mostly introverts and they’re like, Please stop making people look at us.

But two, they’re going to feel so validated and valued, and they’ll

probably come up to you afterwards and say, Thank you for doing that.

No one’s ever done that before.

Look, I’m giving you a pro tip right here.

You will become the hero worship leader of the day or the week

or the month if you do that.

So call out your tech team in the service in the best way and ask the church

to applaud them and give thanks to them.

And it might even help you get more volunteers.

So anyway, grab that free ebook, How to Have Hard Conversations under this video.

And if you want to try the Worship Ministry Training Academy,

You can try it for just one dollar and get 15 days of full access

to our 10 independent courses.

Also, you get live access to me.

That’s where this question came from from one of our students.

And you get our live expert interviews, all of our done for you documents,

admin systems, audition process, onboarding documents, musician training

material, discipleship material.

It’s all there for you, all done for you.

You just take it and implement it in your ministry, and it’s

one dollar to try for 15 days.

So I hope to meet you inside of the academy.

Otherwise, click on one of these videos that YouTube is recommending,

and I will see you in the next one. God bless.