By Kevin Bradford
As a creative director and worship leader, what is displayed on screen is very important to me. I want to have confidence in what’s being projected, and know that when the inevitable glitch happens, the support staff will have my back. For a number of years our church used another computer application that worked well for us. However, the program became cumbersome to use, and started to require a processing speed that our out-of-date MacBook Pro couldn’t provide. Since our small church budget wouldn’t allow for us to rush out and buy the latest computer, we started exploring other options. This is when we discovered Faithlife Proclaim church presentation software, and I’m so glad we did! Proclaim has provided everything our church has needed, and did it with ease!
Here are the top 4 reasons my church chooses Proclaim:
- High quality: Proclaim provides the basics tools needed to format text, with tons of font, color, and styling options at your fingertips. If you aren’t very good at choosing styling, Proclaim’s Smart Media chooses a look tailored to the background you have selected. Additionally, you can choose from a variety of stills and motion backgrounds, as well as upload your own. The Confidence Monitor setting is pretty cool too. It projects a screen for the worship team that provides the words to the current verse or chorus, the first line of the next slide, and a clock to keep track of time.
- Easy-to-use and flexible: Providing high quality is one part software and the other part personnel. The team members running the computer need to be confident and competent in the software they are using, and Proclaim simplifies the job. For in-service operations, Proclaim is as easy as pushing the arrow keys left or right, or clicking the next arrow with the mouse. There are even built-in hot keys that allow you to quickly jump to bridge by pressing “B” when the worship leader decides to go “off script.” On-the-fly editing is available too, in case there is a typo, or if the order of the slides changes.
- Technical support: One of the problems with relying on computer software is the inevitable crash or glitch. Unless you want to go back to using overhead projectors or hymnals, you need to find a software that is responsive to your needs. Last fall, we experienced regular crashes during the services. It was some combination of our computer and the software. Every time I had an issue, the technical support staff for Proclaim had my back. They patiently walked me through how to find and submit crash reports and logs they needed to understand what was going on. At one point, a service representative even provided a beta version for us to use until a permanent fix was released. And once the permanent fix was released early this year, we haven’t had a single problem. Like I said, computer problems will happen, and a huge thing that has me sold on Proclaim is the responsiveness and friendliness of the technical support staff.
- Collaborative: Cloud services are the latest rage in information technology. The cloud allows a user to work anywhere, anytime. Our church has a presentation laptop that stays on campus, but I don’t need to go to the church to work on the latest service, because with Proclaim, I can do it right from my home. Once I’m done, I simply hit “sync,” and it’s ready to be used on Sunday. Additionally, Proclaim’s cloud based approach allows multiple users to create content. The best illustration of this process is how my pastor and I collaborate. I add the music slides, and he adds his message—it’s that easy. I don’t have to worry about getting his slides on Saturday evening and having to input them, he does it when it’s convenient for him. I can still check for typos and formatting consistency, but that takes less than five minutes. Finally, a huge time saver is Proclaim’s integration with Planning Center Online. I live and die by PCO for planning, scheduling, and coordinating all of the Sunday service teams and elements. I can simply import my set from PCO, including song structures, and Proclaim builds a service automatically.
I highly recommend using Faithlife Proclaim to any church looking for quality, ease-of-use, great tech support, and saving time through collaboration. There are many great services out there, but the features and the price of Proclaim have me sold.
Kevin Bradford serves as creative director and worship leader at Ridge Church in Oak Ridge, TN, and has been leading worship and creative teams for 20 years. He is the father of four amazing kids, avid coffee drinker, and writer.