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The Best Church Presentation Software for Mac

Looking for the best church presentation software that plays well with your Mac? There are plenty of solutions on the market, including tools tailor-made for church contexts and others catering to a broader or more corporate-oriented market.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking for the best experience on two fronts: Mac and macOS compatibility and support for the features and use cases common for churches and houses of worship of any size.

Let’s start by looking at what makes running a Mac-first or all-Mac AV setup a little more complicated.

Special Considerations for Mac Users and All-Mac AV Setups

There are some things you need to know about running Macs in a professional AV environment like a complex church AV setup. If you’re already solidly in the Mac camp — either as a single user or as the manager of an all-Mac AV setup — you’ve likely run into at least a few of these special considerations. And if you’re just getting into a Mac-first approach, make sure to account for these elements.

“It Just Works” Can Be a Blessing and a Curse

Apple has long been famous for its unofficial “it just works” mantra: setting menus are trimmed down, and most of the stuff that most normal people want to do, well, just works.

This is great if you’re sitting in a coffee shop studying or working using standard office programs.

But if you need to do more complicated stuff — and especially if you want or need to do something that’s a bit unusual or far afield from the “standard” method — then this simplicity can start to become problematic.

So, when “it just works” really works, it’s just about magical. But when it doesn’t? Sometimes the workarounds can get deeply complex (and sometimes there just isn’t a workaround).

ProPresenter worship software being used on iMac devices

Display Support Can Be Tricky

Most people think of external displays as a fairly straightforward, static technology. You plug in the HDMI or USB-C cable, and whatever’s on your device shows up on the big screen.

Of course, if you’re operating a multi-screen environment in your church, you already know that it isn’t quite so simple as that.

The challenge here is that Macs can be, shall we say, pickier about which displays they’ll work with. And the more pieces of hardware you add to the chain (like HDMI splitters, receivers, dongles, and whatever else you need to use), the more chances something in the chain doesn’t play nice with Apple.

Apple recently began a transition to its own internal line of processors (starting with the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chipsets). These don’t handle display outputs the same way as the Intel models, adding even more complexity to the picture.

All this isn’t to say you can’t build a fantastic AV system around Mac machines. You can. It’s just, well, tricky. If you’re trying to add more displays to a new Apple Silicon computer, and they’re not working, read our guide for Multiple Screens with Apple Silicon (M1 Processor) .

Some Presentation Softwares for Churches Aren’t Compatible

Third, and this is a big one: some of the competing worship presentation software solutions simply don’t work on macOS.

For example, MediaShout used to support both Mac and Windows, up through version 6. But the latest version, MediaShout 7, is PC only. The same thing is true of Worship Extreme’s Presenter tool.

The best option if you’re operating a Mac-only setup is to choose a true cross-platform solution, one that works equally well on Mac and Windows machines. (Going Mac-exclusive is an option, but not one we recommend. Keeping the ability to work with PCs is valuable because you never know when a guest speaker might show up with a rusty old Dell or Lenovo.)

screenshot of ProPresenter church presentation software

What About Keynote?

If you’re a Mac user or operating in a Mac-exclusive environment, you might be wondering: what about Keynote?

Mac users tend to love Keynote, so we get this question fairly often. It’s true that Keynote is hard to ignore for Mac users: it comes free with your macOS license, and it certainly is capable of creating presentations that far outpace PowerPoint shows in terms of aesthetics.

But here’s the problem with Keynote: it just isn’t designed as presentation software for churches.

It’s a great piece of software — but it’s clearly designed for the office (and perhaps the college or high school classroom). It’s missing all sorts of features that houses of worship benefit from.

If all you need to do with your presentation solution is run shows from your MacBook to a single projector or screen, Keynote will do great work. But if you need to do anything more — or you want to benefit from time-saving automations and integrations that matter to churches, worship leaders, and tech teams — Keynote just isn’t going to cut it.

Not sure what we mean? Consider the features in the following section — most of which Keynote can’t replicate at all.

Features You Want in Worship Presentation Software for Mac

Not sure what features are essential in a new worship presentation software solution? Most houses of worship (especially those with more complex needs) have found the following features to be especially meaningful. These features will enable you to create beautiful content more efficiently on your Mac.

ProPresenter 7 contains all these features and plenty more and is the perfect cross-platform solution for Mac users and Apple ecosystems.

Advanced Professional-Grade Slide Editor

First up, your presentation solution at its core is still the primary way you display text on backgrounds to the viewer. Modern solutions can do so much more, but great slides are still the heart and soul of any live presentation.

Look for a solution that allows you to produce gorgeous custom slides or choose from a number of prebuilt templates. Look for a drag and drop editor that’s intuitive and easy to learn, not one that takes a master’s in graphic design to understand.

If the best examples on a particular software provider’s website remind you way too much of a decade other than the one we’re living in, that’s a very bad sign. Design aesthetics come and go, but you certainly want a tool that makes it easy to create modern, readable, beautiful slides.

Screenshot of ProPresenter worship software

Church-Centered Features (Song Lyrics, Bible Versions, and More)

Churches have numerous specific needs and concerns that general office-oriented solutions (like PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote) don’t pay attention to. If your worship services involve the use of song lyrics or displaying Bible texts (or even Bible verse images), you’ll want to look for tools that speed up this process and improve the quality of the end result.

Sure, you can manually type all those lyrics into PowerPoint. But the best church-oriented products have integrations with databases like MultiTracks.com, SongSelect and Planning Center, allowing you to import songs with the click of a button.

Similarly, look for worship presentation software that includes numerous Bible translations (with support for the version or versions you typically use in your services). Again, you can copy and paste till your fingers bleed — or you can upgrade to a tool that can automatically import Scripture passages perfectly every time.

Screenshot of bible verses being used in a worship service

Rich Media Support

Video files, You want a modern solution with support for all the media types (images and videos) you’ll ever need, not an outdated, limited software solution like Presentation Manager.

Look for a solution that has robust support for video files in particular, either as looped background content or as feature content within a custom slide. Don’t get stuck with broken icons instead of immersive video (like happens far too often in PowerPoint). When you choose a truly professional church-oriented solution like ProPresenter, your media support worries disappear.

Appropriate Control Methods

When you’re using your presentation software for typical church services, you may have a fairly set process, where a volunteer in the booth manages the presentation deck and advances slides. But you’ll gain quite a bit of flexibility if you at least have the option to use a remote control app.

This function can come in handy when a pastor or speaker wants to control the presentation directly, or for more complex or unusual setups or events where you might need someone to have control from a location other than the AV booth.

Pro-Grade Video and Streaming Capabilities

The more complex your live presentation or live streaming needs, the weaker certain tools become. If you need (or anticipate needing) support for advanced video and audio formats like SDI, NDI, and Syphon, most presentation solutions can’t help you. But ProPresenter can!

The same goes for your livestreaming needs. Most presentation solutions can output to a video mixer in some shape or form, but can they handle the livestream natively? Can you output directly from your current presentation solution to your streaming platform of choice?

ProPresenter empowers you to do this, reducing the number of tools and layers of complexity required to power your livestream.

Support for Multiple Displays

Last, be sure to consider what a presentation solution can do in terms of multiple displays. Are you limited to a single content feed that gets fed to every display (and possibly a presenter view that can get routed to a single display)? That may work fine in the conference room, but not in larger or more complex church facilities.

Look for a solution that supports lots of displays—including custom feeds of content to various displays and display types.  (Once again, ProPresenter does this easily. Most of the competition can’t.)

Credit to @iizrra on Instagram

ProPresenter 7: The Best Church Presentation Software for Mac

With its robust support for all sorts of things that churches want and need in presentation software—plus broad cross-platform compatibility, ProPresenter 7 is the ideal choice for churches using Macs. You’ll get the same experience whether you use Mac or PC or both. users.

ProPresenter 7 is simple enough for volunteers to start using quickly. Yet its feature set is deep and powerful, supporting professional-grade tools, outputs, and integrations that give you the power to do more than you thought possible.

Ready to see what ProPresenter can do? You can start right now with an unrestricted two-week trial period!

Download now and start your free trial today!

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