Do you get the privilege of building out your Pastor’s message each week into lower thirds for display on the big screens? If you do, then congratulations! That’s awesome! It’s a really important job serving your Pastor and the church congregation in this way.
Whether your new to building out your Pastor’s message or you have been building them for a awhile, I have discovered that these six things done consistently during the build out process, will help to make your job easier and ensures that your Pastor’s message will always look great on the big screens.
However, if you overlook any of these six things, you are really asking for magnified mistakes that will create major frustration for your Pastor and broadcast mediocrity and distraction to your church congregation.
Here they are so take note:
#1 – Always do a quick formatting cleanup and prep of Pastor’s notes before building anything.
Don’t ever assume that your Pastor is going to turn over perfect notes. They make mistakes to. Take the time to open the notes, look through them and make any formatting adjustments or corrections as required. If there is content issues like a wrong scripture reference, contact them and verify the information. The cleaner the document notes are, the easier they can be copied/imported into your presentation software.
#2 – Model the breaks throughout the content.
Pastor’s take a great amount of time to build their messages each week and they expect you to spend the time and pay close attention to the way they have organized the content breaks in their notes. As this alignment and structure is exactly how the Pastor intends to communicate the information to the congregation. Even though sometimes it may not make sense to you, it makes sense to them.
#3 – Make sure that “The red letters”, Jesus’s words are in fact red.
Not orange, blue, green, purple or any other color. There is power in the red letters. If you don’t have lower third graphics that are conducive to red letters, then its time to get some that do.
#4 – Bold, highlighting, underlining and italicizing are formatting options that can catch you off guard if your not looking for them.
These formatting options are low hanging fruit on the tree of easy mistakes. I can’t tell you how many times I got all the content right, but neglected to underline a scripture portion, bold a point or italicize a word. Take the time whether its during the build out or after your done to ensure the formatting that exists through Pastor’s notes, gets replicated in the lower thirds.
#5 – Understand how the main and sub points are to be displayed.
Pastor’s use main and sub points to “emphasize” important parts of their message they want the congregation to remember or “walk away” with. Typically, the pastor wants to speak on a particular point without revealing the other points to the congregation prematurely. For sub points, these may or may not be combined together. In some cases they may be combined with scripture, in other cases they may be separate slides.
#6 – Review it as your building it, review it after your done and then let someone else review it.
This one is probably the most important one of all. You spent quite a bit of time to build it out and you have reviewed it, but you can’t see your own mistakes. Turn it over to someone on your church production team that can give you an objective review and has a detailed eye. I got in the habit right away of letting someone else review my work. Sure enough, they would catch things every time, which I am so grateful for because the mistakes got caught prior to them landing on the big screen.
By doing these six things each and every time, you are sure to build great messages that your Pastor will love, you will feel good about and the church congregation will enjoy. What other things do you do at your church that you would recommend doing? Share your comments below.
Bryan Brooks runs the blog, TechSabbathHabit, is an author and technology coach. He owns two small businesses, KB Media Group, LLC, VITAL Production, LLC and serves as the Director of Technology at The Fathers House Church in Vacaville, CA.