Proclaim comes from Faithlife, the same company that makes Logos Bible Software, which I recently reviewed. It's a departure from typical worship presentation software since it's designed with the online syncing component in mind. Install Proclaim on your church's worship presentation computer, the office computers, and home computers of each team member who helps build worship presentations. It also interacts with other services from Faithlife and their great Logos Bible Software.
We reviewed Proclaim back in 2015 and it fared well in that review. It installs quickly and comes with a rare 30-day free trial. People new to worship software will like how simple it is. Those with experience with other programs like MediaShout or EasyWorship might find Proclaim a little frustrating since it's so different.
Proclaim Video Review
What's New with Proclaim
Faithlife's added a few interesting wrinkles since I last tried it out at my church when they first released Proclaim. It's now easier to work with media slides like sermon images, videos, and audio. They added the ability to record your sermon's audio and then post it online to share with others after the fact.
The video below shows how to record your sermon using Proclaim. Then you can upload it and share the audio with others. It's the modern version of putting your service on the local Christian radio station except it's available to the world.
Anyone who creates worship slides like announcements or putting a quote from the sermon on a slide will love the built-in spell-checking. Anyone familiar with the notes tool in Logos Bible Software will recognize the way this works.
Recently Logos 7 added something called the Sermon Editor. It's a built-in word processor that also includes the ability to create slides. Then export them from Logos 7 to Proclaim. This saves time if you use Logos to create your sermon. Logos 7 also includes other tools that work with Proclaim. The Visual Copy tool (seen above) that creates a graphic out of text selected in a Bible or book in Logos 7 has a Send to Proclaim feature as seen below.
A new service from Faithlife adds a lot to Proclaim. Faithlife Music works a lot like Song Select, a service that hosts song lyrics online. Import these song lyrics into Proclaim song slides instead of typing them yourself, which takes time and results in embarrassing typos.
Add a Song from the Add Item meeting. Type the name into the search box and a list of results organized in three sections. You get songs already in your Proclaim database, songs from Song Select's service if it's connected to Proclaim, and songs from the Faithlife Music database. It seems to hold most of the traditional hymns and many popular Christian songs or choruses. You can check out Faithlife Music at music.faithlife.com.
For the other new features in Proclaim 2.0, which Faithlife recently released, take a look at their user forums. Some of the most interesting new features include:
- Exporting slides as images
- Sharing slides to social media
- Report song use to CCLI
- Copy and paste images into Proclaim slides
Proclaim User Interface
When you install Proclaim, something that's really easy and quick compared to other worship software, it opens and asks you to log in. Proclaim works with a team and each member has their own login.
The user interface has five basic areas.
- Toolbar and Menu across the top
- Order of Service along the left
- Slide Editor in the center
- Previews across the bottom
- News and Team tools along the right (you can close this)
Proclaim shows the Order of Service in four sections. The Pre-service loop shows a looping set of slides useful for announcements. The Warm-up section serves as your countdown. You might put a five-minute countdown video, a video announcement, or maybe a video highlighting a ministry.
The Service itself lists the slides used in the worship service. Set the beginning time and then add music, song lyrics and sermon slides.
Finally, the Post-service loop shows content you want to leave people with at the end of the service. Put in a couple of key announcements or a music video that drives home the worship service them.
Proclaim Slide Editor
In the center of the Proclaim user interface, you find the slide editor. It's easier to use in Proclaim 2.0 than the early versions I worked with a few years ago. Now you can copy an image from a website and paste it into a slide. You can also drag images from Windows File Manager or Mac's Finder into Proclaim. That makes adding sermon graphics or photos easier.
Proclaim ships with a set of background for each style of worship slide. However, creating your own slide templates seems difficult compared to other presentation software. I'd love to find a more robust user-created template tool in Proclaim instead of the workaround that allows users to create templates manually.
The best way to create templates is to set up a slide as you'd like it to look and behave manually. Give it a name like Bible Template Red for a red background or Song Template Flowing River for a song lyric slide with a flowing river background video. Then, search each time you want to add it by going into Add Item and Reuse Item from the Proclaim menu.
Use the Add Item menu to add your content. Then edit the slide by changing text styles, adding backgrounds or images, and then edit the transition style.
Each slide can also include notes or signals. The Notes tab lets you add your own notes, which you can print or show on a monitor only viewable by the stage. The Signals tab allows the user add some things that will show up in the Logos mobile app on a phone or tablet. People attending the service can see these things on their screen. They include the following kinds of signals:
- Bible Reference – Opens the Logos Bible app to a reference.
- Calendar Event – Add an item to the user's phone/tablet calendar
- Contact Card – Let users share their contact information with the church.
- Donation Request – Let's the user made a donation from their phone or tablet.
- Logos Reference – Open a book in the Logos app.
- Web Address – Open the phone/tablet browser to a web page.
The other user interface areas show the slides as they will look across the bottom in the Preview area. The right edge shows three tabs that help Proclaim teams work together. These sections can collapse so that you the user can edit their slides with more space on the screen.
Going On Air with Proclaim
When the presentation's built and the worship service is about to start, hit the On Air button in the toolbar. This starts the presentation and sends the slides to the external monitor or projector. Use the space bar or arrow keys to advance slides. You can also double click with the mouse to fire a slide.
If you want to see what a slide will look like before going On Air, click on the Edit/Preview toggle button on the toolbar. The slides will show up in the center of the screen replacing the editor. Use the arrows with the mouse or the arrow keys to preview each slide.
Other Proclaim Benefits
Proclaim's come a long way from where it was upon first release. I tried to use it then, and abandoned it to return to MediaShout. I still don't plan to change our team at my church back to Proclaim, but I could and wouldn't mind if we did.
Some of the other great benefits of Proclaim 2.o include the following:
- Multiple users can install Proclaim on their computer and one user can use it on multiple machines like a church desktop, the sanctuary computer, a home desktop and a laptop.
- Proclaim works with some great third-party services like Song Select, Graceway Media and more.
- Reuse media imported to Proclaim in past worship services.
- Control with mobile apps on iOS and Android.
- Import PowerPoint or Keynote slides.
- Export announcements and order to the new Faithlife Bulletin service (see video below).
Value and Recommendation
Should you invest in Proclaim for your church or ministry? If you don't already have a worship presentation tool then definitely download the free 30-day preview and try it out. It works the same on both Mac and Windows. Those unhappy with their current solution should also give it a try. Anyone using PowerPoint or Keynote should definitely try it out.
After the 30-day free trial ends, Proclaim will charge a monthly or annual subscription fee based on church attendance. It comes with 3 tiers of pricing, Basic, Pro and Premium for $19.95/month, $29.90/month or $79.89/month when billed monthly. You can also pay annually, but don't do that until after you've used it for a few months to make sure it's the right solution. The annual fee will save you about two months. Those prices are for churches under 100 in attendance. The price goes up to about $50/month for a megachurch of 2500 or more people for Basic and $155/month for the Premium.
Basic, Pro, and Premium differ in how many extras you get with the subscription. The Pro subscription adds the Pro media library of stills and motion graphics. Premium adds even more media from Graceway Media, Church Motion Graphics, or Igniter media to name a few.
Building individual slide sin Proclaim 2.0 can get cumbersome. If you want to create slides and customize them inside your worship presentation tool, then you may want to look at some other tools. However, if you create most of your slides in a tool like Adobe Photoshop or other graphics tools, then Proclaim is a better option.