Church Visual Software: Your Guide to Enhanced Services

Could your church’s weekly visuals use a little updating?

Your visual approach does a lot each week: it helps to shape an environment, cues your congregation about what’s happening, and reinforces the sung and spoken word.

Churches looking for a better visual experience during services will find it in professional-grade church visual software (like ProPresenter). But what specifically should be on your checklist in terms of features and capabilities?

We recommend looking for a church audio visual software that can accomplish everything listed below.

Of course, ProPresenter accomplishes everything here and more. Read more about ProPresenter’s deep feature set geared toward churches and houses of worship. Now, onto the list.

Advanced Slide Editor

Modern church visual software solutions are far more than just slide editors. You’re still using some sort of AV software tool to create slides for every single service. At most churches, that means multiple presentation files every single week of the year.

Given how often you or someone in your ministry is building slides, you want a solution with a robust, advanced slide editor that offers professional-caliber tools and produces pro-quality results. Any good editor should offer drag and drop functions and be able to handle a wide range of content types. You’ll need the ability to work with images and videos reliably — and to use video files from a wide range of file types.

Some tools on the market offer minimalist, streamlined editing interfaces that rely mostly on contextual clues and automated suggestions. Those are great when they work, but you need something more flexible and more capable.

Volunteer-Friendly Interface

Most churches and Houses of Worship rely on volunteers to manage aspects of their church visuals. If you have a volunteer creating or running your presentations, you need a tool that volunteers can understand — not something that only AV pros can use.

The best solutions offer both experiences: a deep, robust editing interface that allows as much customization as you’ll ever want, and a simple interface so that anyone can use it.

Access to Media Libraries

Producing high-quality visuals week in and week out requires a significant amount of media assets. From eye-catching background images to powerful video segments and even background music, most media teams need reliable access to quality content.

Before you invest in new church audio visual software, look for what kinds of media libraries come already integrated. Most pro-grade options include built-in access to major free media libraries, along with access to additional paid libraries.

This can make it easier for your volunteers or paid staff, when a major event is coming (such as Christmas) and graphics are needed. Premade graphics make your life easier, especially if they’re included with your software.

Many churches will get a church media subscription, to places like Worship House Media, Shift Worship, Church Motion Graphics, Visual Media Church, Visual Revival, and a litany of others that provide visuals specifically for worship. As of this writing, ProPresenter comes with access to the Worship House Media store, and also releases free motions for active ProPresenter+ subscriptions.

Scripture and Lyric Import

A significant amount of setup for volunteers is importing song lyrics or Scriptures. Manually typing in and formatting Scripture passages and worship songs is time-consuming and error-prone. 

However, there is a better way. Every major worship presentation software can automatically import songs at the click of a button, using online databases like SongSelect or MultiTracks.com. 

The previously popular service was CCLI’s SongSelect, and it was commonly integrated into purpose-built House of Worship presentation softwares. It offered a big database of songs that can be imported instantly, and properly formatted to appear on slides. This saved volunteers hours of importing but still required formatting and would not come with the ability for chords on a confidence monitor if desired.

An alternative to SongSelect is MultiTracks.com, which carefully formats the song lyrics, and allows for importing music chords also. This allows the band to see the chords on the Stage Screen, removing the need for sheet music and music stands from the stage. There is even support for transposition, and the Nashville Numbering System. And if your band uses backing tracks, MultiTracks.com can automatically sync tracks with the lyrics showing on screen, through MultiTracks’ Playback app. 

SongSelect is common to worship presentation softwares, but the MultiTracks.com integration is only available through ProPresenter and is the easiest and fastest way to setup a complete service.

Screenshot of bible verses being used in a worship service

ProPresenter also provides over 125 Bible translations spanning over 30 languages. The high level of customization allows you to automatically show multiple translations side by side — perfect for multilingual congregations or for more in-depth studies with multiple translations.

Advanced Support for Images and Videos

When you’re building presentations for your weekly church services, you need a solution that lets you use your images and videos quickly. For instance, halfway through the worship, the youth pastor sends you a video to show during announcements.

The best solutions give you drag and drop controls and editing tools for images, offering more flexibility in how your videos operate (foreground, background, loop, stretching or scaling to fill the screen, and more).

You may also want church visual software that can color correct video, or trim video directly quickly without re-exporting. Even better if your software can crop in to make vertical video look better.

You also need support for a wide range of image and video types. You may use common file types regularly, but you never know what kinds of odd media a guest speaker might throw your way. The best option is to have a solution that can handle everything.

Multiple Display Feeds

One of the most important elements of modern worship presentation software is how it handles multiple displays.

In the typical church, you’ll have a primary feed going to the big screen in the auditorium, and perhaps a Stage Screen with the lyrics for the band to see. Since the pandemic, it’s become common to also have a live stream feed, with a live camera and the song lyrics overlaid as lower thirds.

As your church grows, you might want a nursery feed or overflow room, so visitors, workers, or nursing moms can still join in. And in the lobby, perhaps announcements screens are showing the live feed or scrolling through announcements throughout the service.

In other words, things can get complicated, as all of these are showing different pro content or media.

Some video server solutions can do split feeds and multiple views, but they’re pricey and increase the complexity significantly.

Because ProPresenter utilizes a unique 7-layer architecture for its presentation files, you can create different combinations of outputs, showing various formats of slides, live video, motions, clocks, countdowns, and speaking notes to the different screens, all sent from a single machine.

Bonus: Multiple Stage Screens

In the scenario we described just above, we didn’t even talk about Stage Screens sometimes called confidence monitors or foldback screens. Churches need more than the Presenter Mode that comes standard in PowerPoint and other office tools. They need a way to display sermon notes, timers, orders of service, and other content in a stage view. This content and display mode need to be customizable, too, not just an inflexible stock display.

Because of ProPresenter’s unique architecture, our platform supports multiple stage outputs for audiences, presenters, and crew behind the scenes. Send lyrics, musical notation or chord charts to the musicians, a separate view to the pulpit or lectern, and even set up a Producer View for other people on your team to see info, like timers and clocks.

Live Streaming Capable

Since the pandemic started, many churches have begun live streaming their services. Many would prefer to use a single computer for streaming and presentation software, and it’s beneficial to have a single software that can be both presentation software and streaming encoder.

ProPresenter handles this easily, and it doesn’t stop there: ProPresenter is the only presentation tool that supports the use of Resi‘s streaming service, the most reliable and resilient streaming protocol on the planet.

Resi is able to keep streaming through bad Internet, even if there’s a total Internet drop, for up to 2 minutes. This means if someone unplugs a cable or trips a circuit, your viewers won’t notice a thing while you turn it back on.

ProPresenter has so much to offer, but the best way to determine if ProPresenter is right for your ministry is to try it yourself. That’s why we’re providing an unrestricted two-week trial so you can get a feel for our product.

Ready to explore ProPresenter for yourself? Start your unrestricted two-week trial today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about free church presentation software options?

Some churches look for free and open source software for churches that they hope will meet their worship service needs. Admittedly, free is an attractive price— especially in ministry contexts where budgets can be tight.

The problem is, there aren’t very many options that qualify as truly free church presentation software, or they’re underwhelming. There are general-market products like Google Slides, or freebie church worship apps with limited features and no support.

If you find a free solution that meets your needs, then go for it. But as your church audio visual software needs grow, the free options generally don’t suffice.

What about the paid competition?

There are a range of other paid products in the worship presentation software category. We’ve published detailed comparison guides outlining the differences between some main competitors and ProPresenter, so feel free to check out the links below.

For a more elaborate breakdown, there’s also a feature set comparison chart available.

How do you handle ongoing support? / What is ProPresenter+?

Over the last decade, you’ve probably noticed many companies moving to a subscription-based model, which is one way to continue innovating and offering top-tier support. However, for many churches they’re looking for a 1-time purchase, without recurring costs.

The new ProPresenter+ offers the best of both worlds.

With the release of ProPresenter 7, all previous modules (worth over $2000) have been included into ProPresenter, and buying ProPresenter comes with 1 year of ProPresenter+. 

For ministries that want a traditional one-time cost approach, the initial seat license includes 12 months of support, and every new feature and update released during that window. If you choose not to renew ProPresenter+, ProPresenter will keep working.

But ministries that prefer ongoing, indefinite updates and top-tier support can renew every 12 months for a considerably lower per-seat cost.

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