Project Reconnect is a DIY worship resource that allows you to use a regular worship routine for which we provide assistance to congregations without a minister or a musician. Recently, much of the the preaching burden in small congregations has been shouldered by overworked volunteers and some congregations no longer have musicians available.
You can use the planning template to whatever degree suits you best. (See under “Planning Worship” below. Various other members of the congregation will be helping with meeting and greeting, prayers, collection, readings, running the audiovisuals (Computer or DVD player), organising morning tea, etc. You can hand out marked-up copies of the order of service to each participant to enable a smooth flow each Sunday.
The songs are mostly from TIS so copies of this would be desirable, but many of the songs are in other books such as the AHB. Songs from other sources are subtitled.
Project Reconnect was originally developed for small rural communities. It has reached beyond small communities to major towns and even suburban congregations without a minister in major cities. Use is limited only by your imagination and circumstances. We suggest buying the simplest suitable equipment to minimise the technical challenges. If you can play a DVD at home you can run a service with the assistance of Project Reconnect.
A very useful introduction to organising your own worship is our “How to” video by Rev Tom Stuart who established Project Reconnect in Central Western NSW in 2004.
To expand to full screen, click the “four arrows” icon at the bottom right corner. To exit from full screen, click on” Escape” or the four arrows icon.
How do I manage downloads?
If you can produce a PowerPoint presentation with images, you can import and show videos.
Establish a folder to store downloads. If you are downloading music, we suggest that you have separate sub folders for music and messages. You may even break the messages down into “general” and “all age” messages.
Prepare you Presentation and leave blank pages where you wish the video clips of messages or songs to be placed in the service.
The 6 most recent messages and All Age messages can be accessed on our home page.
CLICK HERE to access our music library of songs by volunteer choirs around NSW.
Check that each video is suitable and meets your requirements. To view as a full screen video , click the “four arrows” icon at the bottom right corner to expand the image.
If you decide to use the video, click on the “Download” arrow and you will be offered three resolution options. If you are going to use a large screen TV or projector, select the maximum file size. For smaller screens, you may wish to use lower file size, especially if you do not have fast internet access. You will see that the filename Includes the Lectionary date. You may wish to change the filename but we advise that you retain the date within the filename for ease of retrieval.
Insert the file by dragging it from its stored location onto the page required in your Presentation software (eg PowerPoint) and repeat until all files are imported.
When playing the PowerPoint presentation, you will need either an HDMI connection or VGA + sound connection between computer and screen. We strongly recommend the newer HDMI connection for ease of use.
As each video clip appears on the presentation, click the “play” arrow to play, and the “stop” control to temporarily halt the video.
If you are fortunate enough to have fast reliable internet connection in your church you can just insert the links links into the presentation.
A planning template is useful to set out your order of service and allocate tasks to all participants. We suggest that congregations new to self-management of worship use a template to get started and one such template can be downloaded here.
Although we have found this process works for others, every congregation is different and you should use these resources how you think they will help you. If you do not want to follow the lectionary, or to do things another way – go right ahead. We hope Project Reconnect will help you to achieve meaningful worship and engage your whole congregation in the process.
Using the suggested Order of service template, allocate tasks to the various volunteers (depending on the congregation size)
Typical key roles are
- Meeting and Greeting
- Worship leader – coordinates worship
- DVD or Computer Operator
- Prayer leader(s)
- Scripture reader(s)
- Morning tea
The music on the DVD or downloaded is optional. If you have your own musicians use them!
For music downloads you have free access to the entire catalogue to download and store for future use.
There are two messages each week
- A main message/sermon taking around 10 minutes
- An All Age Message (around 5 minutes) with a focus on children. Don’t underestimate the power of the All age message for adults
There are a number of questions/discussion starters included. They are entirely optional but we do recommend that you try them. They are best discussed in small groups of no more than 5. Members of any small group may wish to share a special insight with the whole congregation if they wish.
The discussion time is unique to Project Reconnect and has varied success across all congregations. Members may feel speaking to a large group uncomfortable. Some churches do not use the questions but they are not gaining the full advantage by just watching and listening.
More suggestions about the discussion starters are on Rev Tom Stuart’s “How to” video above. This can be found at around 11 minutes into the video, but please make sure you don’t skip the rest !