Managing Songs in OpenLP

One of the primary features in OpenLP is the ability to add, import, edit, and project song lyrics. Here’s a brief overview of how you can manage songs in OpenLP.

The Song Library

After running the First Time Wizard, the application window pops up. On the left side of the screen you’ll see the Library with several tabs labeled Songs, Bible, Images, and so forth. These tabs expand when you click them so you can see the contents. This post is about Songs, so click the songs tab. If you added the sample songs in the First Time Wizard, all the sample song titles will appear. If no, this section will be blank.

Creating a Song

Before you can project a song, you have to have it saved in OpenLP. There are several options for importing and creating songs. If you don’t already have any song resources from any other software, you’ll need to create your own songs.

At the top of the Songs Library tab you’ll see a row of icons. These will help you manage your songs. To create a song, click the sheet of paper with the green + symbol. The song editor window pops up with several blank fields. The most basic required fields are as follows, listed by their tab:

  • Title & Lyrics: title, lyrics, verse order
  • Author, Topics, & Songbooks: authors

In order to comply with copyright licensing laws, I recommend being sure to get an account with CCLI and adding the Copyright info & CCLI number for each song as well.

Adding Title & Lyrics

Filling in the title is self-explanatory. However, the lyrics can be a bit tricky at first. You’ll type each stanza (Verse, Chorus, etc.) of the song on its own slide and then add a typical verse order.

To add a slide, on the right find and click Add. A new window pops up where you can type in the stanza, line by line, and give the stanza a name. How many lines and how long are entirely up to you. The visuals will be handled by the themes, so for now you’ll just want to get the song typed in. Once you get the stanza typed, click OK. Once all your stanzas are typed in, you can fill in the verse order.

To fill in the verse order, type the 2-digit Letter-Number abbreviation next to the stanza. So if you have 2 verses, a chorus, and a bridge, your verse order might be V1 C1 V2 B1 C1 C1. Notice that every stanza has a letter and number, so even if there’s only one Chorus or Bridge slide, it’ll have a number.

Adding Authors

To add an author, simply type the name in the Author field. If you have other songs by that author, their name will pop up. If not, you’ll be asked if you want to create a new author. Then you’ll click the Add to Song button to add the author to the song.

Copyright Info and CCLI

This information can be found many places. I prefer to go straight to the CCLI website, but many other sites like PraiseCharts and MultiTracks have this information as well. One note, if you want the copyright symbol before the year, click the © beside the Copyright Information field… it’s actually a button that adds the symbol to the field.

Saving the Song

Once you have the Title, Lyrics, Authors, and Copyright information stored, you’ve got everything you need for your song. Songs have several other advanced options as well, but these are the basics you’ll need for every song. Click Save and the song is now listed in your song library.

Editing a Song

To edit a song, click the icon of a sheet of paper with a pencil at the top of the Song Library. This will pull up the same song editor window you use to create the song with all the song information ready for editing.

Projecting Song Lyrics

There are a couple different ways to project the song. One way is to project the song live from the Song Library. This is useful if, for example, the song leader changes songs on the fly to something not in the service. To project a song live from the Song Library, click the projector icon at the top of the Song Library.

You can also add the song to a service. To add a song to a service, single-click the title of the song in the Song Library. Then click the + icon at the top of the Song Library. The song title will show up in the Service Manage tab on the right side of the screen. (I’ll cover services in a later post.)

More Information and Assistance

For more information about creating, importing, and managing songs, including importing songs from other services, check out the OpenLP manual on their website, If you run into any particular issues or need more assistance, feel free to send me a message and I’ll be happy to try to help 🙂

Getting Started with OpenLP

OpenLP is an open source, feature-rich lyric presentation application. In layman’s terms, it’s free projection software with it has all the basic features as well as plenty of extras. It was designed especially for churches to present song lyrics and message slides. This makes it a great option for smaller churches with limited budgets that desire a way to project song lyrics and other kinds of images, messages, notes, etc. for services.

Getting up and running with Open LP is pretty straight-forward, but it can be a bit intimidating for the first-time user. So if you’re looking for some help getting started with Open LP, please keep reading.

Download and Installation

It’s usually best to download software from the company’s own website when possible. This is typically the most secure and up-to-date option. The OpenLP installer packages can be downloaded directly from their website,

On the website, click “Download” from the top menu. Then download the installer for your computer system. I recommend using the Direct Download option.

To install the application, find the downloaded file. There are several ways to do this, but the two most common are either double-click the downloaded file when it shows up as complete at the bottom of your browser or use your Finder/Explorer to find the file in your Downloads folder and double-click it. Then proceed with the instructions.

Setup with the First Time Wizard

To run the program, find and double-click the application icon on your desktop, in your start menu, or in your applications folder. This will launch the First Time Wizard. First, select the translation (I recommend Autodetect). Then read the directions and click Next through the wizard.

You’ll be presented with options for Plugins (leave these alone), Sample Songs (skip), Sample Bibles (skip), and Sample Themes (skip). As for the remainder of the settings, I suggest just leaving them as they are for now. When you get to the last page of the wizard, click Finish, let OpenLP do its thing. The application window will appear and you’re ready to use OpenLP.

OpenLP Manual and Assistance

If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide with visuals, head over to the OpenLP Manual at their website, which you can find at If you run into any particular issues or need more assistance, feel free to send me a message and I’ll be happy to try to help 🙂

Jesus the Door of the Sheep


Doors function as barriers between whatever is inside a space and whatever is outside the space. Modern doors can range from very simple and providing only a temporary, symbolic barrier, to very complex and providing a permanent, physical obstruction. Also, a window and a door differ in at least one very important way: a door is a legitimate entryway for people to go through, but a window is not.

When Jesus says he is the door of the sheep, he is illustrating at least two important spiritual roles. First, Jesus is the doorkeeper to eternal life with the Father. In John 9, a blind man was healed. But the religious leaders (who should have rejoiced at the man’s healing and glorified God) kicked the healed man out of the synagogue because they didn’t like Jesus. (A synagogue is where the Jewish people in Jesus’ time gathered weekly to worship God.) But religious leaders don’t determine who gets into heaven. As Jesus explains in more clearly in John 14:6, “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” To get to heaven, we must “go through” the legitimate door—Jesus. And Jesus is the only way, there is no other.

A second important spiritual role of Jesus is how, as our shepherd, he protects us. A good shepherd protects his sheep from dangers, especially predators like wolves and bad people like thieves and robbers. One of the ways a shepherd does this is by taking the sheep into a sheep pen at night. But the sheep pens were very basic, with stones stacked for walls and just an opening for the door. So, often the shepherd would sit or lie down in the opening to keep dangers from coming in the sheep pen. Similarly, we may see or hear spiritual dangers from other people, as well as Satan and his spiritual forces, lurking around us. But when we believe in Jesus, he protects us spiritually from those dangers.

Jesus is a good shepherd, but he’s not a universal shepherd. The invitation to be a member of Jesus’ flock is universal, but membership is voluntary. If you want to be a sheep in Jesus’ flock, there’s a condition—you have to believe in Jesus—that he is God the Son and he died for your sins. And when you do trust in Jesus, he becomes your “heavenly door,” protecting you spiritually from Satan, sin, and spiritual death and freely welcoming you into eternal life in heaven with the Father.

To download the full kids lesson resource guide for free, including suggestions for videos and crafts, click below:

Jesus the Door of the Sheep (John 10 1-10)

Jesus the Light of the World


What does light do? Light helps us see. Without light we would always be stumbling around, falling over things, running into each other. We’d get hurt and we wouldn’t really be able to go anywhere or see anyone. We would need help, someone to show us the way or tools to help us navigate in the darkness.

Physically, when God created the universe, at first it was filled only with darkness (Gen 1:2). Then, by only His word of power, the first thing God made was light (Gen 1:3).

Spiritually, the Gospel of John tells us that the world of humanity lives in darkness. Darkness is a symbol of sin and death. Just like how physically we stumble and fall in the darkness, spiritually we stumble over temptation and fall into sin. But into the dark world of humanity, Jesus came bringing the light of God.

The Gospel of John tells us, “In Him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5). And Hebrews tells us that God, “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son [Jesus] … the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” (Heb 1:3).

Jesus is God the Son, the physical incarnation of God. He brings God’s eternal light into this dark, sinful world of sin and death. This light is Jesus’ self-revelation of salvation in Himself for all who believe. (John 3:16-21).

As followers of Jesus, Jesus shares His light with us. And He tells us to share that light with the world. Jesus explains with an example in Matthew 5:14-16. When you put a lamp in a room, do you hide it under a basket? No, that’s silly! You get a lamp to light up the room. In the same way, the dark world of humanity needs believers to share the love of Jesus with our words and actions so they can see the light of Jesus, experience His life-changing power, and believe in Him.

To download the full kids lesson resource guide for free, including suggestions for videos and crafts, click below:

Jesus the Light of the World (John 8 12-30)

Jesus the Bread of Life


Bread was one of the simplest and most common kinds of food in the Ancient Near East. Making bread is a relatively simple process—mix a little bit of water and oil into some flour, knead it into dough, then bake it over a fire, on a baking stone, or in an oven. These ingredients were readily available and affordable, so bread was easy to make. For these reasons, bread was a staple in the diets of people from all walks of life.

Because bread was so common, it became a popular spiritual symbol. In the Old Testament, God used it as a spiritual symbol to teach some truths to His people, the Israelites. The Jewish holiday of Passover, which serves as a reminder of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, uses unleavened bread because the Israelites left quickly so the bread didn’t have time to rise (Exodus 12). And when the Israelites wandered the desert wilderness for 40 years under the direction of God’s servant Moses, God provided “bread from heaven” for the Israelites to eat, which they called “Manna” (Exodus 16). So, God instituted bread as a symbol for His divine deliverance and sustenance for His people.

Jesus revealed an even deeper spiritual meaning of bread. As the Gospel of John says, “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst’” (John 6:35, NKJV). When Jesus spoke these words, his Jewish audience remembered the Passover bread and the bread from heaven that God provided their ancestors in the wilderness. They understood the spiritual symbolism of God’s provision and sustenance, as well as the connection with God’s servant Moses. They understood Jesus’ claim that this symbol of deliverance and sustenance pointed to Jesus, elevating him above Moses and equating Him with God (John 6).

Passover celebrates when God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. The bread from heaven, or Manna, reminds us how God sustained the Israelites in the desert wilderness. These historical events point to Jesus–God the Son–who delivers us from sin and sustains us in our Christian faith as we live in this unbelieving world. This is just another example of how God’s Word, our spiritual “bread,” points to our Savior and Sustainer, our “bread of life,” Jesus Christ.

To download the full kids lesson resource guide for free, including suggestions for videos and crafts, click below:

Jesus the Bread of Life (John 6 22-40)

Egg Sausage Veggie Bake


Egg Sausage Veggie Bake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 lbs turkey breakfast sausage, cooked
  • 8 large eggs
  • 8 servings liquid egg substitute
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 3oz baby spinach


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and liquid egg substitute.
  3. Chop spinach to roughly 3/4 inch pieces.
  4. Dice tomato to roughly half inch dices.
  5. Spray glass 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Add cooked sausage, spinach, and tomato to dish and mix.
  7. Pour beaten egg mixture evenly over other ingredients in casserole dish.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes.
  9. Remove aluminum foil and bake until egg mixture is fully set, about 5-10 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool at least minutes before slicing and serving.
Roughly 200 calories per serving. Great for Saturday post-workout breakfast or casual Sunday morning family breakfast or brunch.

Zesty Oven Roasted Chicken & Veggies


Zesty Oven Roasted Chicken & Veggies

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, portioned
  • 24 grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 cups diced hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1/3 cup bbq sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried cilantro flakes
  • 1/4 tsp roasted granulated garlic
  • pinch shallot powder
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop zucchini, tomatoes, and onion into roughly 3/4 to 1 inch size pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add chopped veggies and diced potatoes.
  4. In a small bowl, mix bbq sauce with 1/3 cup water. Add spices and stir well. Then pour a little less than half the sauce mixture over the veggies and mix.
  5. In a bowl or storage bag, add portioned chicken breasts and the rest of the sauce mixture and mix.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Place the chicken breast portions on the baking sheet evenly spaced.
  8. Add veggies around the chicken and season with salt to taste.
  9. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  10. Check chicken for done-ness before serving.
Roughly 380 calories per serving. A great stand-alone lower-calorie meal or serve with a side of toasted bread and fresh fruit.