IMG_20150913_095247Sometimes Technology can disrupt worship. We’ve all been in a service where a cellphone rang and the entire room groaned. But that’s not actually what I’m talking about. Through the advancement of technological tools, the way that we worship God has actually changed. In the picture, you see the inside of a sanctuary that was built with a centuries old model of worship in mind. There is a stage built so that a Pastor could be seen by the congregation. There were basic lights so that the Pastor could be seen even at night. The baptistry with the cross on the wall highlights the centrality of the cross and the importance of baptism. Yet, the room has been disrupted by technology’s advancement. Basic lighting is no longer the only option. The availability of large projection screens means a hymnal for each person is not needed (though some still prefer it).  Wireless sound systems allow the pastor or musicians to move around freely and not be locked into one place. All of these advancements have allowed changes to the way that we worship.

Some will point out that just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean that you should. They are correct to a large degree. My purpose here is not to argue for either side in that particular argument. I merely wish to point out the ways in which this change can be good.

The use of advanced lighting systems allows the “feel” of the sanctuary to be adjusted to the mood or tone of the song. These adjustments can be made on the fly (assuming you have a good technology team – more on that later). That sort of ability to adjust to the mood of each song could not have been imagined in a sanctuary 50 years ago. Now that ability is commonplace. I would argue that if done properly, lighting can help to bring the congregation into the worship of God.

Projection systems are hated by some, and loved by some. The undeniable fact is that they allow large audiences the ability to see the same thing at the same time. They can be used to give a congregation of thousands a close up view of the one preaching. Used in that way, it is usually called an iMag feed. This technological tool can be utilized so that people who are in even the most awkward angle from the pulpit can have a good view of what is being said and done. Used in conjunction with a sound system, the large congregation can easily hear what is happening. Taking that tool a bit further, we can send that feed to a completely different room, be it a foyer or overflow room, so that people can still feel a part of what is happening even from some distance.

Projection systems can be used for the music portion of worship to add a background image or video behind the words to a song so that the image matches the mood  of the song. Used with advanced lighting, the sanctuary mood can be changed quickly and dramatically. The words can be shown largely so that even those (like me) who need eye glasses can easily see the words to sing.

Another advantage to using these sorts of technologies can be that more people are involved in the act of worship. A technology team can work to aid the delivery of the message and the mood of the songs so that the congregation experiences a very powerful time of worship. The technology team acts as worship leaders. Think about that, people pressing buttons and turning knobs are leading in worship. Their success results in a time of worship that is distraction free and underlines the message of the worship service. So rather than the A/V team being a bunch of cut-ups sitting at the back of the room, they can actually be an integral part in the worship of God.

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