Projecting words of songs and Bible verses is in church ministry about as common as wood pews were, 25 years ago.  But while PowerPoint is ok for a Bible Class or board presentation, it does not have the horsepower that is needed for contemporary worship in a multi media world.  But there has not been much choice between PowerPoint and high-end high-dollar software.  Until now that is!

I just recently stumbled on a cross-platform projection interface, which is (*gasp*) free of charge! Introducing…. OpenLP! (wild applause)

OpenLP is a very nice little piece of software. It has a easy-to-use interface, featuring live and preview modes.  With it you canqueue up not just songs, but Bible verses, PowerPoint presentations, images, videos and audio, allowing your entire service to run from the same interface.
The best part, in my opinion, is the ability to import song lyrics from SongSelect. This allows you to populate your database with the correct lyrics and correct copyright licensing information. Hey, the easier it is to be legal, the more likely we will.
OpenLP is open source software which means it was designed by committee, but don’t let that scare you. It simply has many great minds working on it, and they are adding and taking requests for new features all the time!   Here is a current list of some of the features:
  • Add and edit songs.
  • Preview songs, Bible verses and images.
  • Comes with two translations of the Bible – KJV & ASV.
  • Import a Powerpoint presentation (PowerPoint XP/2002 and up required).
  • Present your presentation from within openlp.org.
  • Show videos.
  • Show images.
  • Slide themes, with gradient, image and colour backgrounds, fonts & font effects.
  • Import and export of themes.
  • Saving and opening of Orders of Service.
  • Announcement pop-ups.
  • Custom slides.
  • Multiple Bible verses per slide.
  • Themes set either globally, per Order of Service or per song.
  • Import Bibles from CSV files.
  • Search through all words in every song in database for a certain word or phrase.
  • Search through all words in a book of the Bible for a certain word or phrase.
  • CCLI/SongSelect integration.
  • Link audio tracks to songs, e.g. for use as backing tracks.
  • Translations for Afrikaans, Deutsch, English, Portugues-BR and Español.
I discovered a few features not even on this list! While I will admit I have not played with it much, I am impressed with what I see.  I wanted to get the word out right away on this one!  Go ahead and give it a download ( OpenLP ).  What have you got to lose?
Share your thoughts on this software, let us know what you think… post a comment.