Technique: “Scrollers”

If you have a multi-media system in your church, you’ve probably seen announcements scroll before worship begins – hence the term “scrollers”.   Some media teams go all out and each announcement is its own mini-creation, complete with humor, glitz or a touch of reminiscence, depending on the announcement.  Some prefer to keep the format the same from one to the next, making information easy to catch.   It works; that’s why we use the technique.  But it’s not the only way to use imagery before the service begins.

How about a handful of options to help expand your horizons? Some would do well before the service begins, others might fit better within the service itself.  Ready?  Here goes.

  • Consider “scrolling” pictures  with or without captions of the retreat the youth group just completed,  the short term missions team.  Only a portion of the church participated in that event, perhaps, but the entire congregation can rejoice in what God did.  It builds community and fellowship. 
  • Last week’s retreat.  Scroll fast if you need to, perhaps with an energetic music bed, but those who went will want to see them all, those who didn’t will think twice about letting you go without them next time.   It can be a thank-you to those who were involved while giving a glimpse to those who only thought  about it – this time.
  • Perhaps scrolling pictures of behind the scenes activity as the church prepares for an upcoming event, like your Easter musical.  VBS.  A special outreach.  This can build a sense of expectancy and it’s also a great transition to corporate prayer.   You do pray for approaching ministry opportunities as a whole church, right?   Good.
  • Whose birthday is it this week?   (dates only, not years, ok?)  Whose anniversary?  The church family should know!
  • Is there an instrumental prelude coming in a couple weeks?  What if the nature photographs of an amateur photographer in your church were compiled with Scripture verses or the lyrics to the song tastefully (artfully) super-imposed to help those gathering for worship tune their hearts?  As they slowly scroll, the musician has a visual element contributing to his or her prelude, the congregation is “thinking on these things”  (Phil. 4.8) and you’re ready to officially begin. 

That was just for starters –  you’ve already thought of another, haven’t you?   Try it.  See if the church family likes the results. 

What’s your church done with scrollers?   How about sharing the idea?  Your candle doesn’t have to go out to light another, you know.   

Enjoy ~

Phil — 

2 Replies to “Technique: “Scrollers””

  1. Jonell

    When it was my job, back in my church secretary days, we called this the “announcement loop” but I can see where the term scrollers came to be.
    We did it without music, well let me rephrase that, we did it w/o specific music designed for just that slide. The announcement loop scrolled during the organ prelude!

    I like the idea of birthdays and anniversaries on that loop.

    I have done slide shows for a congregational song like “God Bless America” or “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” that were so detailed that I had a photograph slide for every 2 or 3 words. For example, the second verse of Great Is Thy Faithfulness would look like this:
    slide 1) Summer (purple iris in bloom)
    slide 2) and winter, (pine tree poking through a snow drift
    slide 3) and springtime (fawn in green grass)
    slide 4) and harvest (wheat field with a barn in the background)
    slide 5) Sun, (sunshine on the mountains)
    slide 6) moon and stars in their courses above (a black background with a moon and stars)
    slide 7) Join with all nature in manifold witness (peacock with tail feathers fanned)
    slide 8) To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. (sunrise/sunset picture)

    It takes a technician who is paying attention to keep up with the fast pace of the slides, but it turned out pretty cool.

    Then when our youth missions team was in the Carolina’s for 2 weeks, the youth pastor e-mailed pictures back to the church secretary, and then I just did the “cut and paste trick” into the slide presentation, and I could show the people on Sunday what they youth had worked on that week. It did help us know better how to pray for the youth.

    Since I do a lot of piano offertories at our new church, I like the idea of a slide show to play during the offertory. That would allow me to play a song for offertory that might not be as familiar as some of the hymns. Plus, how many times have you been sitting in the pew listening to an offertory, and thinking to yourself, “I know that song, but I just can’t remember the words.” How nice it would be to see the words on the screen along with some scenery to prompt your mind to follow along.

    Any other ideas out there?


  2. Phil

    I’ve seen the announcement loop at the end of services – Is it effective? Seems to me like people might be more intent on heading out than reading something on the screen(s).

    I just remembered – KMEFC uses them for baby dedications too. Having multiple services as they do, the church gets to see the families dedicating children that day, no matter which service they were in.

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