Passion plays, Christmas dramas, children’s musicals; what do they all have in common? A desire to communicate the message of Christ in a way that captures the imagination and stirs the heart of a new generation.
Modern technology has changed the expectations of the average church attendee and it’s time to offer innovative approaches to ministry.
Effective ministry often means changing the method of presenting an unchanging message to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society. Why not look at updating your approach to up-front ministry?
The first thought is usually to upgrade the sound system, but what about lighting? Contemporary ministries, like New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, model the increased effectiveness of presentations through the addition of theatrical lighting.
Their yearly Easter production, The Thorn, has had an incredible impact on the attendees since Pastor John Bolen started it in 1997. From the beginning, the stage designers realized the power of creative lighting and have employed Wybron products to create a realistic atmosphere. Lighting engineer Brian Worster shares New Life’s vision to reach a generation that is sight and sound focused. “Entertainment is big; it’s all about how we can make this better; you know, feel exciting and still make an impact.” In response to this vision, Head Lighting Engineer Terry Taylor contacted Peter Maurelli with Barbizon Light of the Rockies, who provided their color changing equipment.
Colored lighting draws an emotive effect from the congregation and is an effective tool in special production ministry. According to Worster, changing from white light to colored essentially transforms the audience from a chair in the auditorium to actually being there. Whether it’s brilliant light acknowledging an angelic host or deep reds shadowing the Cross, color can increase the impact of the presentation on the audience. Consider adding special effects lighting equipment to your existing lighting system. Many companies build products that will mount directly onto basic theatrical lighting with ease.
Okay, I need to upgrade the lighting system. Now what?
Recognizing and assessing the need for colored lighting is a start. Ask questions like who are we trying to reach; what effect do we want and when will we use it.
Next, evaluate the facility. Where will we mount them? What angles? How many do we need? Realize that one of the biggest challenges is lighting everything evenly and effectively for the best cost (Worster).
Finally, consider the budget. Using funds in ways that honor Christ involves making an informed decision about what products to purchase by comparing effectiveness and cost. Today, you can obtain effective and economical color changers that are built to the same standards as lighting accessories designed for Broadway. These are ideal for ministry settings. They offer endless opportunities for enhancing big productions, short skits or even choir specials simply by adding a touch of colored light. New Life Church has several preset programs for easy access to lighting equipment for concerts, conferences, productions and even sermon illustrations.
Really, why wait to install creative lighting equipment? The ability to add colored lighting on a whim is beneficial in any contemporary church setting where an emotive, heart touching effect is desired. Competing with the world? Not exactly, just trying to present Christ in new and innovative ways. After all, who created all of these beautiful colors anyway?
Go on- try it- I think you’ll like it.