[REVIEW] Proclaim Presentation Software

[REVIEW] Proclaim Presentation Software

4_Star

Proclaim is Cloud connected software that equips teams in churches of every size with the integrated media tools necessary to enhance the Sunday worship experience. Proclaim is a product of Faithlife which is owned and operated by the same folks that develop Logos Bible Software. In 2012, Logos jumped into the church presentation market offering a tool they hoped would fill the gaps left open in existing software offerings. You can brush up on some of the competition HERE, but below let me point out some of the features that make Proclaim worth your consideration.

Useful Features

  • Unlimited use on any number of computers with just one subscription.
  • Mac and Windows compatible.
  • Purchase comes with $1,000 worth of media in a growing database of resources.
  • Conveniently connects to CCLI SongSelect, Planning Center Online, Graceway Media, and Logos Bible Software.
  • Proclaim Signals allow for interactive services from people on mobile devices.
  • Control presentations from a mobile device or tablet with the Proclaim Remote.

Special Features

In addition to the many useful features listed above, there are a few unique features worth mentioning.

Sermon Recording

As a church planter, I know first-hand that getting the right tools and the people trained is a challenge. In most cases, to create a podcast or get the sermon audio on your website typically means purchasing a series of separate programs for recording and editing along with additional hardware.

In this recent video, I outline some of the best audio/video recording hardware and software options for creating a studio for under $500.

And once you get all your tools together, you still have to hope your sound team remembers to start the recording on time. And once everything is recorded, it still takes a few hours for a volunteer to edit and upload the sermon.  Proclaim aims to solve this set of problems by integrating recording into their software using “Sermon Audio Cues.”  What this means is that the computer tech. tells the software when to start recording and as soon as the corresponding slide is displayed, the software begins to do the work. You can set up multiple start and stop cues with relative ease.

Once the sermon is over, you can add all the details right inside Proclaim, trim the audio and publish directly to the Faithlife server which synchronizes all of your sermon slides for viewing. You can even export the audio for your iTunes podcast. All-in-all, Proclaim is a relatively simple solution for a church that does not have a large technical volunteer or support staff.

The only caution I offer is that when you put all your technology eggs in one basket, one glitch means everything is impacted. So if Proclaim crashes and your slides go down, it also means your sermon recording goes down as well. So depending on your situation, you may want to set up a redundant recording system.

Scaled Pricing

Proclaim can be purchased through a monthly plan that is scaled based on the size of your church’s congregation. This is a great benefit to church plants and smaller churches who may not have the upfront money to pay for everything upfront.

  • 1-99 = $19.95/month or $199.95/yr
  • 100-199 = $24.95/month or $224.95/yr
  • 200-499 = $29.95/month or $249.95/yr
  • 500-999 = $34.95/month or $274.95/yr
  • 1000-1499 = $39.95/month or $299.95/yr
  • 1500-2499 = $44.95/month or $324.95/yr
  • 2500+ = $49.95/month or $349.95/yr

One Caution

I wont classify this as a negative, but just a cation to any church meeting in a place without internet or WiFi connectivity. One of the convenient features of Proclaim is outlined on their website as follows,

“Your team can arrange song lyrics, announcement slides, and sermon notes from anywhere. One On Air license allows you to install Proclaim on as many computers as you want (Mac or PC).”

The Cloud connected solution is a fabulous solution to a common problem for keeping multiple volunteers coordinated, but the live broadcast of the services means that Proclaim works best in a building that has a strong and reliable WiFi network.

While an internet connection is needed to sync presentations between computers, once synced, presentations are stored locally and will not be disrupted if the internet goes out mid-service. That being said, for a church plant like mine, which meets in a building that does not have any Wifi, some features such as remote control, are not available. If you are in this situation, you definitely want to try it out first to ensure you can live with these inherent limitations.

Overall, I give Proclaim 4 out of 5 stars. Try Proclaim using their 30-day free trial and judge for yourself if ti is the right solution for your church.

4_Star

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Review Disclaimer

Dr. Miller was a former Logos Employee from 2010 through 2011. He was provided a free copy of the product for review purposes. Dr. Miller is also a published author with Logos Bible Software.

Build Your Own Studio for Under $550

I have been promising people this video for some time… well, I finally put it all together.

If you are doing a podcast, video-education, or sermon-casting, this video gives a summary of the best hardware and software at the best possible price.

Products demonstrated in the video above can be purchased for under $550.00, not including the computer.

Hardware

  1. 2015 MacBook Pro ($1,299 – $1,999)
  2. MacBook Pro Stand – $43.00
  3. Blue Yeti USB Microphone – $129.00
  4. Zoom Q4 Digital Multitrack Recorder – $199.00
  5. Green Screen – $39.00
  6. Studio Stand for Green Screen – $26.00

Software

  1. Audacity – Free
  2. ScreenFlow from Telestream – $99.00
  3. If you are in the market for church presentation software, you can read my recent review of Proclaim by Faithlife.
Logos 6 is Here… Which Package is Right for You?

Logos 6 is Here… Which Package is Right for You?

5_Star

For the past couple months I have had the chance to work with the new Logos 6.

What’s New

Logos 6 offers a host of new features and tools for language study, Bible study, research into ancient cultures, and literature. However, the most amazing part of Logos 6 are the host of new visual tools that help teachers of the Bible better communicate the content to a broader audience.

I could write a lot on this, but instead of reading about it, watch this short video which shows a lot of the new features in Logos 6.

Recommendations

If you are new to Logos, you may be overwhelmed with all the options, books and features. You can check out each package for yourself at anytime, but to make it simple, here is my recommendation for which package is right for you.

Personal Study and Devotion = Bronze

If you are someone who wants to dig deeper into the Bible and sites like Bible Gateway just don’t provide enough, then I recommend starting with Bronze. Some of the important features here are listed below.

  1. Atlas (first set of maps)
  2. Cultural Concepts
  3. Before and After: Ancient and Modern Biblical Archaeological Sites
  4. Virtual Tours: Narrative Character Maps
  5. Beitzel Photo Library
  6. Logos 6 Maps, vol. 1 (English)
  7. Logos Stock Media
  8. Logos Media Archive
  9. Faithlife Study Bible Media

Bible Teacher (pastor or professor) = Silver

For anyone who regularly teaches the Scripture in either a Sunday School or college/university, the Silver package offers some tools beyond the Bronze that you will come to rely on.

  1. Ancient Literature tool
  2. Atlas (2 volumes)
  3. Clause Participants Section
  4. Propositional Flow Outline
  5. Logos 6 Maps, vol. 2 (English)
  6. Artifacts from the British Museum
  7. Preaching Theme Slide Art
  8. The Cultural Context of the Bible

Bible Student and Language Study = Gold

If you are a Seminary student or professor with an interest in ancient languages, then Gold is the best package for you.

  1. Atlas (includes all 3 volumes)
  2. Logos 6 Maps, vol. 3 (English)
  3. Sense Section
  4. Textual Variants
  5. Lexham Textual Notes on the Bible
  6. Online Textual Variants Manuscripts
  7. Textual Analysis Tools: Form and Structure of the Psalms (Psalms Browser)
  8. Textual Analysis Tools: Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible (Proverbs Browser)
  9. Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles

Also, be aware that Logos offers a 30% academic discount to anyone who is a student or professor so be sure to call and get the best price when you order.

A First Look at the new Logos 5.0 for Mac

Summary

This short 9 minute video gives a first look at some of the more impressive features of the new Logos 5.0 for Mac.  Based on my use of 5.0, I am super excited to finally see some major speed improvements and feature parity with Windows.  This is a tremendous leap forward and what Mac users have been waiting to see.  Kudos to the Logos team of developers.  This is also visually impressive with much sharper graphics and text.  Again, another area showing tremendous improvement from 4.0.

All-in-all.. Logos 5.0 is a welcome upgrade that will certainly please most every Mac user!

Test Specs

The specs on my computer running in the video above are as follows:

  •   Model: MacBook Pro (2007)
  •   Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.2 GHz
  •   L2 Cache: 4 MB
  •   Memory: 6 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  •   Bus Speed: 800 MHz

New in 5.0

Here is also a list of the new features. I will try to get more info out on these in the near future.

Timeline

See it all, from Genesis to the present—biblical, church, and world history. Timeline events link to more information, so you can go deeper.

Clause Search

Logos 5 knows what words mean and how they’re used. Search the Bible by part of clause, and Logos brings back exactly what you’re looking for.

Bible Facts

Get instant information on any biblical person, place, thing, or event. When you come across an unfamiliar person or word, Bible Facts gets you up to speed.

Sermon Starter Guide

Brainstorm sermon ideas in seconds. Type in a passage or topic and get a smart list of related Scriptures, commentaries, outline suggestions, sermon illustrations, and visual aids.

Topic Guide

See what the Bible says about important issues. The Topic Guide connects biblical topics to key passages, scholarly articles, and profiles of related people, places, things, and events.

Bible Sense Lexicon

Go beyond biblical words—see how meanings relate. The Bible Sense Lexicon connects Greek, Hebrew, and English word senses, so you can discover how specific or general a given term is.

Bibliography

Logos 5 builds your bibliography for you. When you’re done studying, Logos instantly creates a bibliography you can annotate and export to your word processor.

Search Suggestions

Run smarter searches, whether simple or complex. Logos 5 suggests specific queries, so you can find precisely what you’re looking for.

Scripture Memory Tool

Learn your favorite passages by heart. Logos 5’s tools make it easy to memorize any portion of Scripture.

Example Collection Rules for Logos Bible Software

Example Collection Rules for Logos Bible Software

Creating Collections in Logos Bible Software is a powerful way to manage your library and refine your searches for key words and phrases.  The Logos website has some simple instructions on how to do this HERE and the user-created wiki-page has some more detailed instructions along with graphical illustrations HERE.

When I am training, I usually have several people ask about the rules I used to create the collections in my videos, so at long last I decided to post them here for your use.

In each box below I have shown you 3 specific items:

  1. MyTags” I added to selected books to ensure they are included in a collection.
  2. Collection” is the title I used.
  3. Criteria” is the actual rule I created to make the collection.
  4. Minus Collection” Some of my collections are used to help refine other collections and reduce duplication of search results.

Please feel free to leave suggestions for improvement in the comments section.

Collection Rules

MyTag: Apologetics

Collection: Apologetics Resources

Criteria: title:(apologetics, mormon, reincarnation, defending, horoscope, “jehovah’s witness”) OR subject:apologetics OR eugenics OR “social problems” OR author:chesterton OR mytag:Apologetics

MyTag: archeolog

Collection: Archeology

Criteria: title:(archaeolog, archeolog, excavation) OR subject:(archaeolog, archeolog, excavation, pottery) OR mytag:(archaeolog, archeolog)

MyTag: Bible Studies

Collection: Bible Studies

Criteria: mytag:”bible studies” OR subject:(“Bible Study”, “Study Guides”)

MyTag: Biography000

Collection: Biography (Bible)

Criteria: (subject:(autobiography, biography) OR mytag:Biography000) ANDNOT subject:(paul, bible, jesus, apostles)

MyTag: Counseling

Collection: Counseling

Criteria: mytag:counseling OR subject:(counseling, psychology) OR title:(counseling, psychology)

MyTag: Devotionals

Collection: Favorite Devotional Bibles

Criteria: type:bible AND lang:english AND rating:>2 mytag:devotional

MyTag: Dogmatics

Collection: Dogmatics & Sytematics

Criteria: title:systematic OR title:dogmatics OR title:doctrine OR mytag:Dogmatics ANDNOT introduction

MyTag: Exegetical

Collection: Exegetical Commentaries

Criteria: mytag:exegetical

MyTag: Expanded

Collection: Favorite Expanded Bibles

Criteria: type:bible AND lang:english AND rating:>2 mytag:expanded

MyTag: Expository

Collection: Expository Commentaries

Criteria: mytag:expository

MyTag: gramlex

Collection: Grammars & Lexicons

Criteria: (type:(grammar, lexicon) OR mytag:gramlex) AND rating:>1

MyTag: Hermeneutics

Collection: Biblical Hermeneutics

Criteria: mytag:hermeneutics OR title:hermeneutics OR subject:hermeneutics

MyTag: History000

Collection: History: Church

Criteria: mytag:History000

MyTag: Homiletical

Collection: Homiletical Commentaries

Criteria: mytag:homiletical

MyTag:Journal

Collection: All Journals

Criteria: type:(magazine, journal) OR subject:periodicals OR mytag:journal

– Minus Collection: Spanish Language

MyTag: Outlines

Collection: Outline Commentaries

Criteria: mytag:outlines

MyTag: RefWork

Collection: All Reference Works

Criteria: ((type:(dictionary, encyclopedia) AND rating:>1) OR mytag:RefWork) ANDNOT (type:lexicon OR title:(cascadia, lexham, syntactic, illustrations) OR lang:spanish))

MyTag: Roman Catholic

Collection: Roman Catholic Spirituality

Criteria: mytag:”Roman Catholic”

MyTag: Science

Collection: Creation Science

Criteria: subject:(creationism, science, cosmological, evolution, biology, astronomy) OR title:(science, evolution, space, astronomy) OR author:”hugh ross”  OR mytag:science

MyTag: Sermons

Collection: Sermons

Criteria: mytag:sermons

MyTag: Sermons

Collection: Homiletics

Criteria: (title:preaching ANDNOT illustrations OR title:sermon OR title:homiletical OR title:homiletics OR subject:homiletics) ANDNOT mytag:sermons

MyTag: Single Volume Commentary

Collection: Single Volume Commentaries

Criteria: mytag:”Single Volume Commentary”

MyTag: Study

Collection: Favorite Study Bibles

Criteria: type:bible AND lang:english AND rating:>2 mytag:study

MyTag: Untagged Commentary

Collection: Untagged Commentary

Criteria: mytag:”Untagged Commentary”

MyTag: Wesleyan Studies

Collection: Wesleyan Studies

Criteria: publisher:wesleyan OR collection:holiness OR title:wesley* OR author:(“John Wesley”, “Adam Clarke”) OR mytag:”Wesleyan Studies”

MyTag:

Collection: All Bibles

Criteria: type:bible

MyTag:

Collection: All Book Excluding Bibles

Criteria: rating:>=0 ANDNOT title:”study bible”

– Minus Collection: All Bibles

MyTag:

Collection: Biography (Non-biblical)

Criteria:subject:(autobiography, biography) ANDNOT subject:(paul, bible, jesus, apostles)

MyTag:

Collection: Core Theology

Criteria: rating:>0 ANDNOT subject:(concordances, bible, biography, manuals, quotations, handbooks, families, marriage, references, scrolls, indexes, lectionaries, pictorial, illustrations, question, harmonies, dictionaries, hermeneutics, synonymns, language, discourse, grammer, greek, hebrew) ANDNOT title:(lexham) AND type:monograph

– Minus Collection: All Journals, Reference Works, Expository Commentaries, Homiletical Commentaries, Sermons, Single Volume Commentaries, Bible Studies, All Bibles, Spanish Language, Homiletics, Creation Science, Untagged Commentaries, Dogmatics & Systematics, ANE Studies, Apologetics Resources, Biography

MyTag:

Collection: Dead Sea Scrolls

Criteria: title:(“dead sea scrolls”, qumran) OR subject:(“dead sea scrolls”, qumran) OR mytag:(“dead sea scrolls”, qumran)

MyTag:

Collection: English Bibles

Criteria: type:bible AND lang:english

MyTag:

Collection: Favorite English Bibles

Criteria: type:bible AND lang:english AND rating:>2

MyTag:

Collection: History: Jesus

Criteria: (title:jesus AND title:(historical, q, quest, “new perspective”)) OR (subject:jesus AND subject:(historicity, criticism, q))

MyTag:

Collection: History: Jewish

Criteria: (subject:history AND subject:(jew, judaism)) OR mytag:”History of Israel”

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MyTag:

Collection: History: New Testament

Criteria: (subject:(history) AND subject:(N.T., “new testament”)) ANDNOT type:commentary, media

MyTag:

Collection: History: Old Testament

Criteria: (subject:(history) AND subject:(“O.T.”, “old testament”)) ANDNOT type:commentary, media

MyTag:

Collection: Old Reference Works

Criteria: (type:(dictionary, encyclopedia) AND rating:>1 AND pubdate:<1950) ANDNOT (type:lexicon OR title:(cascadia, lexham, syntactic, illustrations) OR lang:spanish))

MyTag:

Collection: New Reference Works

Criteria: (type:(dictionary, encyclopedia) AND rating:>1 AND pubdate:>1950) ANDNOT (type:lexicon OR title:(cascadia, lexham, syntactic, illustrations) OR lang:spanish))

MyTag:

Collection: Pauline Studies

Criteria: ((mytag:(pauline, paul) OR title:(paul, pauline)) ANDNOT type:(commentary, bible)

MyTag:

Collection: Second Temple Period

Criteria: title:”second temple” OR subject:”second temple” OR mytag:”second temple”

MyTag:

Collection: Spanish Bibles

Criteria: type:bible lang:spanish

MyTag:

Collection: Spanish Commentaries

Criteria: type:commentary lang:spanish

MyTag:

Collection: Spanish language

Criteria: lang:spanish

MyTag: VersionRiver

Collection: Version River

Criteria: VersionRiver

I hope these help you.  And once again, please leave suggestions for improvement or your own ideas in the comments section.

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