Wednesday, May 17, 2006

IMAG :|: A Sound System for Your Eyes

Today's Topic: Tools and Techniques

Creativity and art are gifts from God. However, creativity for creativity's sake has no place in a worship gathering. Worship of Jesus Christ should include creativity, but only creativity that exists for the sake of the glory of God.

Therefore, a church video system should exist for the glory of God, for his honor, his purposes, his message. For the next few weeks, I want to discuss imag (image magnification) as one aspect of video in a worship service, and how I think it can be best used for God's glory. For those of you unfamiliar with image magnification, imag is the use of live cameras and video projection screens to allow people further from the subject to see better. Essentially, imag is a sound system for our eyes.

This week, we'll discuss the call for technologies like imag. The next couple weeks I'll introduce my best and worst practices for imag during a worship service.

I believe firmly that imag is a legitimate Biblical use of technology and creativity for two reasons:
  1. Imag helps more people at once to experience God's message. Jesus called us to communicate broadly when he commanded his disciples in Matthew 10:27, "What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops."
  2. Imag helps people to fully understand the nuances of preaching. Paul instructs his young pastor friend in 2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." Preaching from the heart will lead to reproof, rebuke, and exhortation that each carries it's own emotion, facial expression, hand gesture, and so forth. Imag allows us to transmit that emotion and meaning to everyone in the room rather than just the first few rows.
When we introduced imag at Covenant Life, we based our use of the tool on these two primary principles. Although we designed the system to be able to produce more "artistic" output, the team members focused on helping people to see and emphasizing what the pastor was saying from the pulpit. This cleared the way for simplified training, early implementation, and a seemless integration.

What could have been a very "disruptive" change was quickly and enthusiastically accepted by our congregation. I think this was primarily because the creative technology was designed and used to support what God was already doing in our church rather than becoming a new thing all on its own. What could have drawn attention to itself, drew attention to the word of God instead. I thank God for helping us and for giving me the most understanding and encouraging congregation in the whole world.

My prayer is that any introduction of creative elements into your services happen as smoothly and effectively.
More Posts on Tools and Techniques

No comments: