Do you remember overhead projectors? Those large, glowing boxes, humming loudly and blowing out warm air, while shining a bright, blurry, dust-speckled image on a screen? And those sheets of clear plastic paper? (Transparencies, was that what they were called?) And dried-up overhead pens? And lugging around the OHP to various rooms in the church? I’m glad that a new kind of projector is now in use—sleeker, lighter, better, and even cheaper than the old way. Here’s ten reason why your church should buy one, or use the one you have.
Just so we’re on the same page, when we talk about a “projector,” we’re talking about an LCD projector or data projector. It directs a beam of light against a flat, white surface, and displays an image generated by an electronic device (usually a computer). That’s pretty obvious, but we just wanted to be clear. Here’s what they look like:
So, why should your church have one of these LCD projectors?
- Portability is priceless. LCD projectors are portable, meaning that you can take them anywhere you want. You can use your projector in the Sunday School room, then take it out to the auditorium for the service. Or, you can even use the projector for a small group Bible study in a home. All you need is a place to display the image (a white wall works just fine) Many churches today have a projector mounted on to the ceiling, but having a projector that you can cart around is really nice.
- You can display anything. If it shows up on your computer, you can display it on your projector. PowerPoint displays, Keynote displays, Word documents, PDFs, videos, DVDs, pictures…anything. Plus, projectors work with a variety of devices. Most computers plug in to most projectors with no problem. If you have a iPad (2nd generation), you can even use your iPad to show stuff.
- Hymnals are expensive…and inconvenient. it used to be that pew hymnals were a fixture in churches. Today, those books are giving way to projected lyrics. This solution helps to save money and make things much more convenient. Yep, a few hundred dollars on a decent projector will help save you a whole lot more in hymnal costs.
- More information. Projectors are good for more than just showing song lyrics. You can also use the LCD projector to display announcements before the service, remind people to turn their phones down, display Scripture verses, and tons of other stuff. Providing this kind of information before or after the service is a helpful way of making the service go smoother.
- Memorable communication. Using a projector helps to make your communication stick. For example, using a PowerPoint with your sermon adds a visual element to your communication. By combining two forms of communication—visual and audible—you improve people’s retention of the information.
- Clarity, clarity, clarity. I know, it’s painfully cliché, but “a picture is worth a thousand words.” When you use a data projector, you’re adding clarity big time. Instead of describing the route that Paul took on his second missionary journey, just show a map. Instead of describing the size of the Sea of Galilee, show a picture. A data projector gives you the gift of clarity.
- Media should look good. Today, there is little excuse for shoddy media. We here at Sharefaith are on a mission to provide media for the modern church, but tacky or sloppy media is not what we’re interested in. Instead, we provide sharp and professional designs for you to use in your church. Projectors are perfect for displaying media that looks good, capturing the attention and respect of your people.
- Simplicity is important. You may be reading words like “projector,” “LCD,” “iPad,” and “computer,” and cringing with concern. If tech isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Projectors may seem a little scary and complicated, but it’s really not that bad. I used to think that projectors hated me, and would deliberately malfunction when I used them, but that was back when projectors were nascent technology. Today, these things are really simple. You can plug in your computer, flip on the projector and presto. You’re in business. You might have to focus the image, but all that requires is twisting the lens a bit—just like the old-fashioned overhead projectors.
- You get sound, too! Speaking of overhead projectors, the only sound that you heard was the buzzing of a fan. With LCD projectors, you get real sound. Most projectors have built-in speakers, which is fine for a Sunday School class. If you want to use the sound system in the auditorium, just plug in the audio jack.
- Sharefaith becomes even more valuable. As an online library, all of Sharefaith’s resources are digital downloads. With your Sharefaith membership, you’re ready to use PowerPoints, worship backgrounds, video loops, and more. You can even give a tour of your new church website!