Too Much Tech in the Service?

I believe it is safe to say that technology has become a major tool for almost every church to use during their worship service. This is not only true in America, but across the globe. There are churches located in remote locations with limited or no electricity, so they probably aren’t using much in the way of technology. But even those churches would like to have some sort of technology if it were available. Let’s face it, we are a culture that loves our tech and we want to use it every chance we get.

In churches today there are several different types of tech being used.

Lighting

Lighting for the general congregation has been used since the beginning of electricity. But now churches are using different brightness levels to enhance the desired “mood”. I see many churches dim their lighting during the singing portion of the service and brighten the lighting during the sermon portion. In the last few years robotic or moving-head lighting is being used to cast laser or beam lighting across the stage and the congregation. Along with this strategy smoke and fog machines have been introduced at some churches to enhance the effect of this type of lighting.

Sound

Nearly every church has some sort of sound system in place. However, I’m starting to notice that more often than not sound technicians are using features such as reverb to enhance the vocalist’s voice depth. Another change I’m seeing is churches are replacing their analog soundboards for digital to capture the convenience of the presets as well as the downloadable features of that tech.

Projection

The days of the overhead projector are pretty much gone. (My apologies to those that still may be using this tech). My observation is that churches are either using a computer and projector to send text, scripture, songs, and video messages, or they have decided to project nothing at all.

Environmental Projection

This tech is really catching on in many churches across the country. The concept is to use the projection screens as a source to change the color or concept of the stage theme. This can be done with a single screen and projector or multiple screens and projectors working in tandem.

Effective Use and Purpose of Tech

So we’ve touched on some sources of tech churches are using, but the question of “why use it” needs to be addressed. This could be effectively debated from both sides of the aisle so knowing your congregational demographic needs to be considered. I do know this for sure; if you decide to integrate a tech change to your congregation, do it slowly and in incremental stages. Remember that 10% of all people love change, 10% loath change, and 80% will accept change if it’s done with purpose and at a pace that matches the culture. Also only allow tech in your service that enhances the worship experience between the attendee and Christ. The tech you use will not be sustainable if it’s simply entertainment or distracting. Tech is just a tool, so use it to allow worship to flow naturally and let it be honoring to God.

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