Steve Hamrick, Director of Worship and Church Technologies, IBSA
I regularly get asked questions from small churches or church plants about best resources for worship which are free or at least cost-effective. The list below contains a brief review of quality resources for various aspects of the worship ministry. The list is not a recommendation, nor is it inclusive, but it is a great place to start researching.
Worshiptogether www.worshiptogether.com Worshiptogether has many worship resources for the church including songs, lyrics, and chord charts of many CCM songs. You still need a CCLI license to project words in a bulletin or on a screen. There is a paid section with more detailed arrangements. Prices on purchased arrangements range from $5-6.00 per chart. There are multitracks available through a link.
Lifewayworship www.lifewayworship.com. Since 2008 lifeway has provided an excellent resource at a low price to help churches find and purchase worship music. Every song from the 2008 hymnal is available as well as several thousand additional songs. Each selection is available for instant access via online download. The cost of each arrangement is between .99 and $1.99 per song. Full instrumentation is available as well as soundtracks, multitracks, lyrics (for projection), and demo tracks. There is no yearly membership fee.
Songselect www.songselect.com Songselect, a daughter company of CCLI, offers tens-of-thousands of church songs from old hymns to CCM. Each song is transposable. Depending on your yearly membership plan, you can choose from lyrics, chord charts, lead sheets, and vocal scores. The piano arrangements are less than desirable if your pianist lacks creative skills, but you can make as many copies of each song as you need for your worship team. Once you pay your yearly membership fee there are no additional charges per song. Fees are based on the plan you choose; free for public domain songs through $189 for the premium plan.
OpenLP https://openlp.org/ OpenLP is a free open source video projection software. People who use it tell me it is better than PowerPoint. See the reviews on this site. The downside is that the programmers are volunteers and part-time, so there are few upgrades and bug fixes.
Very Low cost:
Proclaim https://proclaimonline.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paidsearch&utm_campaign=promo-proclaim2017 $17 to $77 per year membership. Proclaim charges an annual membership as opposed to purchasing the program outright. It is cheaper on the front end but not necessarily if you use it for many years. The basic membership plan is very basic.
PowerPoint https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/b/powerpoint-2016?invsrc=search&cl_vend=google&cl_ch=sem&cl_camp=905852555&cl_adg=45823124100&cl_crtv=225898402688&cl_kw=powerpoint&cl_pub=google.com&cl_place=&cl_dvt=c&cl_pos=1t1&cl_mt=e&cl_gtid=kwd-11651171&cl_pltr=&cl_dim0=WP9F_AAAANJDSmOT:20171017143837:s&OCID=AID620866_SEM_WP9F_AAAANJDSmOT:20171017143837:s&s_kwcid=AL!4249!3!225898402688!e!!!!powerpoint&ef_id=WP9F_AAAANJDSmOT:20171017143837:s Free to $109.00. Designed for business, PowerPoint is the oldest video projection software. Churches adapted it because many computers come with PP installed. It is OK for basic lyric and sermon projection but has many worship use shortcomings, especially if you are trying to embed music tracks in the slides or want to see slides ahead or behind your current location.
ProPresenter 6 www.renewedvision.com There are many decent worship projection software packages available for churches including EasyWorship, Media Shout and Songshow Plus, all priced at or near $400. ProPresenter is available to IBSA churches for a discount price of $325.00. PP6 is the industry standard and like the other programs is available for MAC or PC. Many IBSA churches use PP6 so we have established user groups and training to help train users. Each of these high-end projection suites integrates song lyrics, Scripture, sermon notes, video, and audio. Expect a learning curve for the one who inputs the weekly information.
YouTube www.youtube.com YouTube allows users free access to thousands of worship and music training videos. If you type in the name of the song you want to learn and “tutorial,” there is a good chance of finding it. YouTube is a great free tool that allows one to listen to new songs and it also has some video and karaoke songs available. Be careful with infringing on copyrights.
MusicTheory.net http://www.musictheory.net/ is an excellent free resource which teaches basic and advanced music theory and ear training. It even has modules for keyboard and fretboard recognition. It is highly recommended.
WorshipArtistry www.worshipartistry.com WorshipArtistry has an excellent free section of skill development and an even better paid section which requires a monthly or yearly membership fee. It also has excellent free worship blogs. The paid section is impressive and helps players learn to perform covers of CCM music. There are specific modules for vocals, drums, bass, and guitar.
Worship Planning Organization
Lifewayworship.com http://www.lifewayworship.com/worshipPlan/start Lifewayworship has a free program that helps organize worship planning and allows you to build a set/order of worship for your team. It is very basic but works well.
Worshiptogether.com also mentioned above has an excellent search feature to find songs by tempo, theme, style, key, etc.
PlanningCenterOnline www.planningcenter.com Planning Center On-Line is the industry standard for worship planning. For between free and $14.00 per month depending on the level you subscribe. PCO also has a highly-regarded church business software package. PCO allow the worship leader to choose music, fill out an order of worship, attach media, integrate it all to ProPresenter, and distribute it all to the staff and worship team. PCO keeps track of worship time. It is a great program, but like the others, there is a learning curve required to get the most out of it.