Got Screens in Worship?

Got Screens in Worship?

3 Myths about Using Screens in Small Setting Worship

BlkD Worship Lifting Hands to God side view

1. Screens are absolutely essential for people today.

Nope. Screens are just tools. They provide one way of using images, offering content and guiding the worship experience. But they’re not the point of worship, even for tech-savvy Millenials. People come to church to be fed spiritually. If your congregation has screens, they need to serve the worship, not drive it.


2. Using screens is the same for both big and small congregations.

Nope, again. Big places often use screens to give worshipers a more intimate experience of what is happening 40 rows away. Small places don’t have that same challenge. And in fact, the screens can take attention away from more powerful interactions. Remember that actual human bodies are some of the most forming, symbols available to express faith. The real question is how best to use screens in your particular context. Are screens enhancing or displacing other strengths of small congregation worship?


3. There should be a different screen for every moment in every service.

Wrong. Did you ever notice that when you go to a theatre, no one hands you the complete movie script so that you’ll enjoy the experience more? Sometimes more words can dilute or distract from the experience. While there are different learning types, not every moment needs a title screen with a nifty image on it. The worship order should connect the worship moments naturally.

3 Tips for Using Screens in Small Setting Worship

1. Go deep, not wide.

Let people ponder one, well-chosen image. Instead of offering a different image for each element of worship, pick one potent picture that stays up through most of the service. Let people meditate over it. Let it stay in quiet conversation with the rest of worship.


2. Guide, Don’t Produce.

Screens are terrific for guiding the worship experience, so that consulting a paper doesn’t become an interruption. Remember, however, that a distinctive gift of small settings is the feel of participation rather than performance. The more prominent and highly produced the screen content, the greater the risk that the congregation will become passive observers of someone else’s art rather than co-creators in their own distinctive worship.

3. Re-think Power Point for the Sermon.

Screens can be helpful in letting visual learners soak in key information. But they also have the ability of disrupting more fluid, emotional experiences. Of the brain’s two hemispheres, the right side invites play, sensory information beyond words. So it’s terrific for letting people encounter mystery or experience a story. The left brain prefers order, analysis and logic, which is great stuff but can pull us out of a right brain experience—and right out of the grasp of mystery. Do you really need those outlines and bullet points?