Comments from our users
Staff - Baker Heights Church of Christ - Abilene, TX
I am so happy that you've made this type of media available to us. In addition to the singing being better because everyone is looking up and projecting, I am able to sing with more understanding and meaning since only one verse's lyrics are displayed at a time.
And I know you've probably already heard similar stories, but I wanted to share with you the response my 90 year old grandmother said the first time she was able to attend an assembly when the songs and scriptures were projected. As we were leaving, she said, "This is the first time in years I've felt like I've been worshipping along with the rest of the congregation. I could see the words and follow along. Always before I didn't hear clearly what they were saying and by the time I'd find the song or Scripture they'd be through with it."
Thank you for helping include everyone in the worship experience.
Song Leader - 9th Ave. Church of Christ, Haleyville, AL
I didn't tell you in the original email, but we love using The Paperless Hymnal. We use it in nearly every service and our members love it. We have started putting together modleys sometimes. It is a wonderful tool!
Senior Minister - Arcadia Christian Church, Santa Fe, TX
When we started talking about projecting the songs, the first thing we heard was "Will there be notes?", even if most of the congregation does not read music. From the first day we have used your software to great success. Thanks for what you are doing, it has made such a difference. You may add Arcadia Christian Church, Santa Fe, Texas to your list of happy customers if you want to.
Worship Leader, Administrative Deacon - Southwest Church of Christ, Phoenix, AZ
Yes we do use the Paperless Hymnal for our song projection. Two reasons why I bought it over other products: (1) At the time, it was the first I heard about that type of program. It had already been out ong enough that we bought in at the third volume, when it went to the large print version. (2) I have known James Tackett for well over 12 years. He was my Music Theory instructor for the first two years I attended the Texas Singing School at Abilene. He is a wonderful musician and great Christian man.
To further expound on the product itself... I have not seen a similar program. I like the fact that it is large print with no more than two music systems per slide. It is "cut and paste" and works in MS PowerPoint or WordPerfect Presentations. It has both words and printed score. I refuse to project songs with words only, with the exception of a youth rally, even then I would do so with a great deal of reluctance. Many other song projection programs, like "Song Select" from CCLI, have just words only. Some have more than two systems per slide, some use their own projection software.
One or two drawbacks that I came across: We use "Songs of Faith and Praise" as our hymnal of choice. The most annoying aspect of The Paperless Hymnal is the fact that not all the songs in SoFP medleys are available. On the other hand, with the Paperless Hymnal, you can put together your own medleys without having to turn hundreds of pages, or have people hold the next page with their finger or marker as a placeholder for the next song. You can add page numbers to the original files (we place a copy of it in the current worship file) but it may will be written over when you perform an update (if that particular file has changes) or if you purchase the next volume and choose to reload the previous volumes at the same time.
Our other 8 songleaders are slowly catching on. Most do not have the patience to preselect their songs with enough time in advance to put a presentation together. It is something I am working on with them. Most do not have the computer skills to use PowerPoint and are reluctant (afraid?) to ask. I have been trying to make them more at ease with the computer and program, but progress has been slow. Speaking of the amount of time needed to put together a typical Sunday Morning Service - aside from selecting the songs and planning the order of worship - one hour.
Once the Order of Worship is planned (I am the Worship Leader and am responsible for every aspect of the worship service with the exception of choosing the men to serve on the table and the prayer leaders), I go to the media center (fancy name for our sound room) where the projection computer is located. The entire service is then input into PowerPoint and includes slides for scripture reading, songs, and sermon outlines. We use a handout of the sermon outline with blanks to be filled in by the audience. The outlines with the "answers" filled in are projected as the sermon progresses. I copy the scripture reading from the Logos Bible Software we use, (the secretary also uses copied selections from the Internet in the sermon slides). I insert slides of nature, or other appropriate themes throughout as separations. IE; a slide projected during a prayer or the Lord's Supper - scenes of Gethsemane - things like that. I always have a blank slide at the end with a black background. I, personally, prefer NOT to project the song of encouragement, nor do I direct it. I would rather the audience concentrate on the question put before them than focus on me.
The purpose of using the projector is the first place is to enhance the worship experience, not for entertainment. I do not advocate the use of fancy entrances and fly-ins, nor splashy backgrounds or loud colors. The biggest benefit comes from the fact that the audience gets their collective head out of the book while they are singing. The difference is really great and can be very noticeable for most people who first hear the difference. I still use the songbooks during some services and sometimes I mix the use of slides and songbooks during the same service. It's about selecting songs about the message and not limiting the songs to just those available on PowerPoint. The better songleaders (not me) will not limit themselves to songs that are just in their respective current hymnals, but can make use of all the songs in the Paperless Hymnal. I'm working on that and have included songs from our previous hymnals if they are well known, The only drawback to that is the fact that we have people that cannot see the screen (from the nursery, for instance) that follow along using the songbook. So just be sensitive to their worship needs as you plan the song service.
The songleader (or preacher for that matter) do not operate the computer. That is not to say that they can't. The system I put together can be operated from the front, also, using a wireless mouse and/or keyboard. It also has been set up so that a visiting preacher, for instance, can use his own laptop at the front to do his own advancing of slides. I installed a 15 inch "flat panel" monitor under the top of the existing podium. We made a cut out in the wooden top and then embedded a glass panel flush so that the monitor is mounted under the top and visible through the glass (watch for reflection and glare).
That's about it.
If you have more technical questions or cost type questions, email James Tackett. I know he will be glad to hear from you. His email is: James@paperlesshymnal.com
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