How is your church platform set up? How well can you see the pulpit? Do you have enough room to sit comfortably on the bench?
These seemingly little details make a big difference. I played in one church where the piano faced an outside wall. My back was to the choir director – not the best situation!
My preference is to watch the faces or mouths of the people for whom I am accompanying. This way I can be sensitive to any catch breaths, tempo changes, etc. We have a digital piano in our church that sits farther back of the stage, making the angle difficult for accompanying. I have to be even more attentive when playing on the digital piano for this reason. It is important to be able to follow the performer.
Keep your area around the piano neat and organized! Music books stacked on the piano are distracting to the audience. Take your music with you when you leave the piano or set it down out of sight. Our pianos have shelves next to them for storing the hymnbooks and other music. These are relatively new additions and I love them already!
Do you have any tips for improving visualization at the piano? What methods do you use to keep your music organized?