Focus on Projecting Lyrics

Featuring Bob Kauflin Posted on January 12, 2011

If your church doesn't use hymnals or songbooks, the person handling the projection of lyrics plays a crucial role in enabling people to engage with truth about God. If they're frequently late in putting up lyrics, show the wrong verse, leave a blank screen, or project misspelled words, that can counteract whatever good leadership you might be exercising. That's why I want that person to be humble, trained, and faithful. It also helps when they attend rehearsals.

Some churches never show more than one phrase of a song at a time,which can make it difficult to grasp the meaning of the lyrics. Imagine reading your Bible like that. People will understand the flow of thought better if they see lines in their context.

You might also consider projecting lyrics when people are learning songs,when a song is being sung by a soloist, or during an instrumental portion of asong. These are just a few more ways we can make music serve the lyrics.

Use Supportive Music

This has been done badly so many times, I hesitate to bring it up. But Scripture seems to make a connection between hearing music and beingsensitive to God's voice. According to 1 Chronicles 25:1, those who led the worship at the tabernacle “prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals” accompanying them. Elisha was unable to speak the word of the Lord to the kings of Israel and Judah until a musician came and played for him(2 Kings 3:14–16; see also 1 Samuel 10:5–6; Ephesians 5:18–19). God seems to have established an undefined but discernible relationship between music and the way we hear his Word. As best as I can tell, music affects our emotions, which in turn can make us more receptive to, or at least aware of,the words we sing and hear. We can't speak dogmatically about this relationship, but neither can we deny it.

When I play piano softly behind a speaker, I'm listening carefully to what's being prayed, shared, or read. I seek to support, not distract from, the content.I rarely play a song that everyone can identify because that could easily draw their attention away from the speaker. I play sparsely and at times nothing at all.

We don't need to play music constantly or seek to manipulate people's emotions. Spoken words don't always have to be accompanied by a musical background. But in the right ways and at the right time, instrumental music can be an effective complement and support to the spoken word.

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