Multimedia good tool for worship
Doug Heacock, contemporary worship leader and director of media and communications, Lawrence Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Ave.:
As a lifelong nerd and gearhead, I am blessed to serve a church that has chosen to embrace technology and harness a variety of tools for ministry purposes, particularly in the context of our worship services.
At Lawrence Free Methodist Church, we use a pair of ceiling-mounted video projectors, one for a large screen at the front of the sanctuary and one aimed at the back wall of our sanctuary. (The back wall projector is for people on the stage to see.) For a few minutes before each of our worship services, we project a looping sequence of announcement slides that promote upcoming events, and during the services, hymn and worship song lyrics are also projected. Our pastor’s sermon notes are projected, as well.
The software we use for projection (called Easy Worship) allows us to run digital video clips or clips from DVDs. Occasionally we will begin our contemporary services with a video that is intended as a prelude to worship, and we frequently use video clips as sermon illustrations.
We also produce videos to promote church events or to celebrate events in the life of our church. We have the capability to project live video when we have child dedications or baptisms. Our software also allows the projection operator to put up “nursery alerts” or other special messages during the services, if necessary.
An audio feed from our main sanctuary sound board is routed to a computer in our media office, where the sermon is recorded digitally, and made available on CD or cassette tapes for distribution. We also provide sermon audio in MP3 form on our Web site (www.lfmchurch.org).
Our sanctuary projection booth has a live Internet connection as well, so that if we ever need to project Internet-based content, we can do that. We also subscribe to a satellite-based television network, Church Communication Network, for special seminars and other programming.
— Send e-mail to Doug Heacock at firstname.lastname@example.org
God can speak without gadgets
The Rev. Nate Rovenstine, pastor, Lawrence Wesleyan Church, 3705 Clinton Parkway:
Worship is not a duty that is checked off a list of obligations. Rather, it is entering into the presence of the divine.
The Bible says that this invitation to worship is issued by God and made available to us through the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. Because of his grace and mercy, we are empowered to respond in faith, expressing itself through love. In a real sense, our entire lives become a response of worship to his mercy. When God’s people gather to worship, we are entering God’s presence collectively.
Technology has become a part of our culture, and it has become a part of our collective worship at the Wesleyan Church. We use it as a tool to help us connect to the God who reaches down to us. Specifically, we use an LCD projector that incorporates videos, announcement slides and PowerPoint presentations during the sermon. We depend on the technology of electricity and sound projection to help amplify the sounds of our musical instruments. We use basic technology in our worship services, but we don’t depend on it. We recognize that the real power in our worship services is not our technology but the presence of the divine, made available to us through the work of his son on the cross.
This became apparent to us several years ago when a microburst hit Lawrence right before our Sunday morning worship services. Because our electricity was knocked out, our technology was useless. We worshipped anyway, and we found that God can speak, without a sound system, without electric guitars, without power point slides or videos. Worship does not depend on technology, but technology is a great tool to use to help us reach up to the God who reached down to rescue us.
— Send e-mail to Nate Rovenstine at email@example.com.