Sorry church media crew, it’s not your fault

This is a rant. Sort of. Because it’s been a long time coming, and I do hope therefore, it’s not personal. First of all, thank you church media crew for your time, your sacrifice, your countless hours of service; without which, our worship services do not happen. You are barely noticed, when things go well and therefore you’re doing a great job. You are very noticed (and maybe even given ‘the death stare’)  when things don’t go well. You ought to be appreciated much more than you are.

But, I really wonder, whether this one, small aspect of the media service is helpful. And you probably didn’t decide this. Somewhere in the upper echelons of church leadership, it was decided that projecting scenes of the worship leader/worship team enhanced the worship service. Does it really?

We have done away with pew bibles and hymnals and therefore, are reliant on the projector showing the lyrics of the songs we are singing. But when the center and largest screen constantly toggles between lyrics and images of the worship team… at best, it  distracts us from singing in worship of God and focussing on God , at worst, it becomes a subtle form of entertainment. (In addition to the the flashing lights, the moving animated digital backgrounds, the expressions of the worship team, etc.)

But what about the preacher? Isn’t he being projected unto the screen while he is preaching? Yes, but that’s different. During the sermon, we are not actively participating in the preaching. We are actively listening and being able to see the preacher may be necessary if he is using gestures as part of the means of communication. During singing, we are not passively receiving of the singing, but are actively engaged in singing as well.

How important is this issue anyway? Aren’t there more urgent matters with regards to church life and ministry? Well, probably. And yet, this is not insignificant either. Imho, it entails whether our worship is theocentric or anthropocentric.

So pastors/leaders, please do consider the feedback of your sheep. This is not a matter of rejecting all forms of technological advancement and its use in the church worship service. Rather, it is a call for technology to serve the Body.

“He must increase, but I must decrease” John 3:30. May it be so in our worship services!

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One thought on “Sorry church media crew, it’s not your fault

  1. I mostly keep my eyes shut during worship because I like to clear my mind from thinking about distractions and what others are thinking when I’m worshipping but I agree with this a lot. Worship is all about focusing on God and having an intimate encounter with His presence glorifying Him. The lyrics are all we really need to see. However, I love to watch Bethel and Hillsong on YouTube constantly because I love to watch them set examples in worship and leadership while also praising God with them. I think putting the band on camera is only acceptable in the sense of their being worship leaders and inviting the audience to follow their example and join in. Some people need to see someone else take the first step before they decide to take theirs. But the cameras should only be necessary in that sense in a large audience situation like a concert hall or arena. The lyrics should never be cut off or interrupted by a shot of a leader though, they should always have their own screen, or do as Bethel does when they post videos of their worship sets where the lyrics are on the bottom of the screen easily visible while they show the worship leaders and audience.

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