I get asked a lot about how I find music for Sunday mornings, or how we handle live media, or how we design our graphics. This is just a list of the services I couldn’t live without in my week-to-week prep.
I don’t work for any of these companies and don’t get any compensation or reward for endorsing them here. I simply think these are great products and services.
Music & Service Planning
Planning Center Online > PCO is my personal assistant. From scheduling and communicating with band members, to song selection and service timing, this thing seriously does it all.
Worship Together > I’ve loved Worship Together from the early days, but recently they’ve really stepped up their game. This is usually my first stop when I’m looking for song ideas, chords & sheet music, or other resources. They also have great articles, training videos, and a lot of free stuff to download every week.
Transposr > This simple website will transpose a chord chart or an mp3 for you. I have never used the chord chart functionality, but the mp3 transposition is great. Often we will perform songs in a different key than the original recordings, and this provides a great way for band members to play along with the recording in our performance key. Sometimes vocals will sound a bit ugly after being remixed, especially for large transpositions, but it is a great practice tool.
Ultimate Guitar > Most of the time a simple Google search is all you need to find chord charts for new music, and 90% of the time this site is going to be on the top of the results page. There’s also a surprisingly great iOS app.
Evernote > I do a lot of planning and brainstorming away from my computer. Sometimes I’ll just be playing the guitar, or even driving in the car when I’ll come up with a song or other service planning ideas. All I have to do is reach for my iPhone and make a quick note. Since Evernote syncs with an app on my Mac my note is waiting for me whenever I sit back down at the keyboard.
Graphics & Media
ProPresenter > In my opinion there is no contest when you compare the top 3 options for presentation software (and no, PowerPoint is not even on that list). ProPresenter shines in both depth of functionality and ease of use. If you need to, you can set it up so that the only tool the person at the computer needs is their thumb on the space bar. But if you have someone with a little training you can get very creative with visual media.
Graceway Media > This site requires a subscription with a hefty fee, but it gives you a great catalogue of graphics to choose from. Your subscription gets you unlimited downloads of their entire catalogue which includes motion backgrounds, countdowns, title templates and more. Recently they added the ability to download layered PSD files as well. Let the customizations begin!
Worship House Media > If ala cart media is more your thing you can’t beat WHM. They have a diverse selection of producers contributing to the best collection of church media on the internet. Motion graphics, countdowns, illustration videos, and more all done with a high degree of excellence.
Lost & Taken > Sometimes all you need is a simple texture. This site has lots of great choices, and almost all of them are free.