In the world of church media ministry and just about anything we do these days, time is one of the most important assets (if not THE most important asset) we have. It seems we are spread thin by trying to accomplish all of the little and big things that make up our weekly routines. Some things even get left for Sunday mornings when crunch time is the tightest.
So if there was a way to save more time for yourself and your media team, would you take advantage of it? We think you’d want to! If you aren’t already using CCLI SongSelect for your worship service and church media planning, this article is going to be a must-read! And even if you do already subscribe to SongSelect or have it included with your CCLI membership, maybe there are some new aspects of it that you’ve never taken full advantage of. We hope to shed light on them for you here!
Media Techs and Worship Leaders Alike Can Draw Inspiration from SongSelect
INSPIRATION. That’s something we as creatives need as we do our jobs unto the Lord and plan the elements of worship services that will ultimately draw people to Jesus. Luckily, the home screen of CCLI SongSelect’s website offers a lot in the way of inspiration.
From seeing the album art and graphics associated with new songs that have just been released, to a list of songs that are the most current songs other churches around the world are worshipping with, there’s a lot to pull from. Worship leaders can use the list of songs for inspiration when planning the setlists, and the graphics can even give an idea for the media team to pick fitting worship backgrounds to go along with the songs. Maybe even just being able to see what the songs are about and if they are upbeat worship songs or slower more introspective worship songs will help the media team plan how to design the lyric slides for worship.
As we often discuss, it’s never a good idea to flat out copy another church or worship movement, as each of our communities has its own unique identity and what works there may not work where we are. But it can definitely be eye opening and helpful to have a pulse on what is going on in the global Church in the area of worship and church media resources. It will help us stay inspired and current to influence culture in the name of Jesus.
The Nitty Gritty: How Having CCLI SongSelect Changes the Process
If you’ve spent any time building presentations and slides for worship services, you may have an idea of how complicated it can be. There’s a lot of pieces and parts that go into church presentations. But as resources have developed and processes have been simplified thanks to technology, we have a lot to benefit from as media ministers, worship leaders, and tech volunteers. The biggest change in worship technology in this latest era is the focus on integration with other worship technology resources.
With most modern worship presentation software options like ProPresenter or MediaShout, users don’t have to go through the same hurdles they went through ten years ago to design and build worship slides. Many of us remember the process of getting a song list then going to Google to copy and paste the lyrics into our presentation software (or even worse, having to do it manually slide-by-slide on Powerpoint).
With CCLI SongSelect integrated into your worship software, you can access CCLI’s entire database of worship songs directly, to immediately pull in lyrics and song information to your presentations. How it typically works is you sign in for the first time on the settings dialogue or lyrics section of your worship software. Once you’ve signed in with your SongSelect credentials, you use the features of your software’s song library to search for songs. But instead of only searching the library of songs that may have come with your worship media software or ones you’ve entered by hand, you’re searching CCLI SongSelect.
So instead of the process looking like using the internet to search and find lyrics and either typing or copy and pasting them onto your slides stanza by stanza or line by line, the process would look more like using your worship software to search for a song, selecting to import it, and then having the pre-prepared lyric slides ready to drop into your presentation with just a few clicks.
Most worship software would have some sort of option for applying a template for a commonly used design as well, so the process from A to Z of getting a song loaded in and ready to put on your screens could take less than a couple of minutes. This is literally life-changing for those of us who are tasked with loading in songs for worship every week. It can go from taking an entire afternoon or evening to taking less than an hour to perfect.
SongSelect is a Resource That Enhances FREEDOM in Worship!
So we’ve established that CCLI SongSelect has thousands of songs that are just a click away. This saves countless hours over the course of planning and building worship services weekly. As great as that sounds, another equally exciting prospect for many worship and media teams is that the limits are removed on the direction they can take a worship set in the moment.
Lengthy and complicated technical processes would have formerly been roadblocks and made us hesitate to change plans in the middle of a worship service, even at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. But now with tools like SongSelect, we can quickly and accurately throw song lyrics onto the screens within just a few seconds, as long as we are skilled and properly trained at using our worship software of choice. (Most worship software platforms allow users to search by phrases of lyrics within a song, not just the song title. So if the worship leader is singing a phrase, the operator can type it into the SongSelect search, and often be able to find and pull in whatever song is being sung).
While planning in advance is great, and we should do that as a part of making sure we’re bringing an excellent offering of worship during every service, sometimes God wants to move in new ways and do things we didn’t necessarily plan for! As a media team and worship team, we must all be open to that! We simply come together and work hard to support each other in the unique tasks that are all a part of the bigger picture of worship.
If you’re in charge of the media team, make sure you and your counterparts are trained and comfortable with the process to quickly load in songs from CCLI SongSelect to your worship presentation, and let the worship leader know you have their back if they sense God leading them to add in a chorus of a song that wasn’t on the setlist. And if you’re a worship leader or on the worship team, make sure you build relationships with your media team as they are a part of the worship ministry as well, and work to understand the process they go through to make sure everyone on the platform and in the congregation is served well.
If you haven’t thought about these time-saving aspects of CCLI SongSelect for your church, get your worship and media staff or volunteers together and explore the options that are available to you. It may just enhance your entire worship experience and save you tons of time preparing the media for church services every week. That’s something to celebrate!