Two Big Helps For Ministry

29 05 2012

There are two handy apps that have helped my prayer life and devotional times. I hate lugging things around. The fewer things I have to carry the happier I am. I also find that my mind is getting less able to remember all those things and people I need to pray about.

I really love Evernote for making prayer lists. I can have them with me anytime I have my iPhone or iPad. It makes it easy to update the list when someone asks for prayer. I can share those lists via email or a shared folder online. It’s great to have a place for all our elders and deacons to be able to upload information on answers and visits made.

My old large print Bible weighs a few pounds and takes up a lot of room in my backpack/briefcase. Now it is only as large as my iPhone or iPad that I carry almost everywhere. If I am waiting for my wife to finish shopping or sitting in the waiting room at the hospital I can always have my Bible to read. Sometimes I’ll think of a passage but can’t recall where it is found. YouVersion is snappy in its search features.

If you are like me and need access to your Bible always and take notes about your readings or prepare devotional thoughts do yourself a favor and use these two free tools.


Review of SongSuggest 1.0

29 12 2009

Every song leader has a need to access a list of songs on many themes.  Building your own database is a great idea and will serve you well.  Technology has moved us a long way down the road for being able to cross reference, recall and store song lists, and themes. has a product that brings a great tool to our iPhone.  Imagine needing a song list on consecration.  SongSuggest gives you the ability to search songs from its 600 song database by that theme or many others.  They can be searched by theme, key and tempo.  If you can’t remember what the song sounds like they added a way to search YouTube for a video of the song.  There is a link out to iTunes for you to purchase the songs and a link to so you can search for lyrics within the app.  Handy for you when you don’t have easy access to SongSelect or the ccli database online.

Sadly, there is no way to save lyrics in the program.  This would give you more ability to search for songs by topic, theme and phrase.

It would be great if they would add a way to email song lists to your worship team.  It would also be nice if you could add your own songs to the list.  There are many songs in our songbooks and newly written songs that are not on the list.  Another feature that could be an advantage would be to link to SSPlus or Media Shout.  If you could export your list to either of these programs it would save several steps in your set planning.  This in no way means this isn’t a useful app.  It is in its first generation.  I hope the developer will improve on a great idea.






iPhone App for Worship Leading

19 10 2009

Technology is a great aid to worship leading and preaching. The iPhone brought a stable, dependable computer to our pocket. The platform brought thousands of applications called apps to do anything from database management, Bible reading, personal information management to pitching your songs. Here are a few apps that you might find useful.

Pitch Pipe For iPhone.

pitch1This is exactly what the name indicates. It even looks like the old fashioned round pitch pipe we’ve used for years. This app is great because you always have it with you (unless you’re like me and leave your phone at home). The cool thing is you don’t have to worry about pocket lint blocking the reeds. Drawback is you have to leave your phone volume on so there will be a danger of your phone ringing during the service.

TapnTune for iPhone

This little app goes way beyond just giving you pitches. It serves as a tapntunesongbook to store lyrics for all your songs. Probably overkill in this area since you can’t sync the database with SongSelect or other database. It does let you build song sets to keep a record of what you sang when. It allows you to input key and tempo for each song. It has a feature that will scroll the lyrics for you at your chosen speed so you could use this for a cheat monitor. It would be a bit cumbersome to accomplish that during most services. Great tool for a missionary though.

It has a metronome feature which is great for practice and learning those complex new contemporary rhythm patterns.

TapNTune has a great pitchpipe built in as well. The pitch pipe has several octaves to chose from making it handy for tuning any instrument.

The same drawback is present in that you have to leave your ringer on.

Grand Pro

grand proHere is an app that could fill several roles for you.  Have you ever had a hard time sight singing a song?  Did you every wish you could pick out a harmony part while the melody was going at the same time?  Gran Pro can help you in both of these situations.  It is a mini piano on your iPhone.  It will allow you to display 4 octaves at a time on screen.  It is polyphonic in that it will play as many tones as you depress.  This is wonderful for giving complicated pitches to a group of people during practice.

The record feature will let you capture a tune you’ve been working on.  It has a metronome feature also.  The sound quality is amazing for something you carry in your pocket.  The piano sounds are sampled so you’re actually hearing piano tones.  Here is the feature list from the AppBeacon website:

  • 7 octaves of sampled concert grand piano
  • – Master tuning
  • – Soft (una corda) and sustain (damper) mode with separately sampled sounds
  • – Adjustable keyboard size (up to 4 octaves)
  • – Built-in advanced metronome
  • – Automatic tempo conversion
  • – Built-in reverb with adjustable mix level
  • – Optional iPod mode – if turned on you can not play in silent mode (iPhone only)
  • – Key labels with universal nomenclature and color indication
  • – Record, save and playback with customizable project names
  • – Overdubing for complex recordings
  • – Play chords with up to 5 fingers
  • – Slide your fingers to roll the keys

These are just a few tools that will help you with your role in leading music.  We will cover a few other areas in our next post.  Please take time to recommend this blog to your friends and check out Our Common Salvation blog which is deals more with devotional thoughts.  You might also enjoy my YouTube Channel which features some devotional lessons and various topical studies.



SongShow Plus

14 10 2009

SSP Logo

One of my favorite things about SongShow Plus is the ease of creating song lyric files. You can quickly import songs via your clipboard or Microsoft PowerPoint.  Typing your own lyrics is simple as well. The Module for creating the song files for projection is just about as simple as highlighting the text in the window and pressing a radio button labeled verse 1, verse 2, chorus, bridge, ending etc. Takes just a few minutes per song.  There should be a way to import your songs directly from SongSelect on the CCLI site.  There may be but I can’t figure it out.

In the New Song Dialogue box there are many tabs that will help you catalog your song. Take the time to do this because it will pay great rewards later on.

generaltabOn the General Tab you will find Title, Author, Copyright, CCLI Song ID, Scripture Reference, and Song No. Pretty straight forward here. Please use the CCLI ID. It is an easy look-up on the CCLI website. Once you’ve inserted the number every time you use that song is logged for you for CCLI reporting.

The Lyrics Tab lets you type your song verse by verse, chorus by chorus. You can use a LyricsControl-Enter to force a pagination to the next slide. Great for keeping the song slides uncluttered.

There is a Sequence Tab to allow you to build your song to repeat the chorus or skip a verse. It is as flexible as your heart desires.

There is a key and tempo tab for each song.  This is a valuable way to search songs for a medley or to help you find variety in your selection.  In a capella singing keys should vary some through the service to avoid monotone feel in the service.

Tempo is not a metronome marking but rather fast, medium or slow.  This general marking will help vary your selections for energy and emotion.

The Theme Tab includes several predefined Themes from Admonition to Zion.  You can add your own.  You can add as many themes as you desire for each song.

The Notes Tab is a great tool. Here is where you can keep your grading of the song, leading tips, etc for use at other times.  You can also add a transitional thought to this section.

The last tab is the Display Properties.  Here is where you actually build the projection slide.

SongShow Plus is really the king of song lyric database management.  No one even comes close to the power of this tool.  We are just talking about the database features here there are many other features on the projection side of the program that make it the leader among all computer based projection software packages.

SongShow Plus has grown a lot over the years.  It does love the resources when it comes to projecting.  If you are going to project from your laptop you should contact the kind people at

R-Technics Inc.
1755 N. Wesgate Dr., Suite 230
Boise, ID  83704

They have always been nice and prompt to walk me through problems I’ve had.  They have many resources online including a forum so you can talk to other users and not just the guy who wrote the program.  These folks have provided some great tutorials which are easily accessed by clicking the tab at the bottom of the desktop in the program.

For those of you who use Paperless Hymnal with SongShow Plus be ready for some frustration.  Building the slides is a bit time consuming and you might have to tweak a few things to get your jpgs of the songs to load properly.  In a later post I’ll go through the process.

If you have questions regarding Worship Leading in general or how to build your database shoot an email to me Joe Chase