Church pews and hymnals may soon be a thing of the past. Right now, more than 60% of the nation’s Protestant churches have abandoned hymnals in favor of putting lyrics and Bible verses on large projection screens. As Lindsay Ferrier tells us, it’s just one way churches are embracing technology to appeal to modern-day churchgoers.
(Locators: Atlanta, Ga./Littleton, Co./Granger, In.)
Nat music: “Come, now is the time to worship.”
You won’t find a bad seat at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church in Atlanta. These two jumbo screens will make you feel like you’re in the front row. Backstage, the show runs as smoothly as anything you’d see on TV. And audience members seem to appreciate it.
Larry Davis/Member, Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church: “I see it as support; a graphic presentation that supports the verbal message that’s being projected.”
Robin Freeman/Member, Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church: “We used to have to fumble to get our hymnals out and find the right page, and for them to put the words up on the screen makes it a lot easier to follow along with the songs.”
Welcome to church in the new millennium...where increasingly, technology is used to foster intimacy and create a more exciting hour of worship. At a time when music, movies and information are literally at Americans’ fingertips, church leaders are doing what it takes to hold their congregations’ attention.
Bruce Morgan/Pastor of Worship, Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church: “Just as Jesus met people where they were, we have a responsibility as worship leaders to meet people where they are.”
Nat music: “Not to us, but to Your name.”
Across the country, technology is redefining worship as Christians know it.
In Indiana, members of Granger Community Church are treated to a musical stage show before the sermon begins.
And in Colorado, Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church is appealing to the greater community with complex dramatic productions.
But don't be confused by these modern-day production values. In the end, it’s still about human values.
Pastor: “We went to the effort because you’re worth it. We want you here, and it’s important that you’re here, and you are welcome.”
Many churches see the Internet as one key to staying relevant in today’s society. Last year, 57% of the nation’s Protestant churches had a website. Compare that to just 37% five years ago.
Also see: Congregations liven Sunday worship with new media.