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Oh, How Far We’ve Come.

The technology revolution that has given us cell phones, email and DVD players is now beginning to make its mark on our Sunday services and weekly church hall gatherings. Distributing the church bulletins during service or displaying music lyrics on those antiquated and clumsy overhead projectors are quickly becoming a thing of the past thanks to the entry of liquid crystal display (LCD) projectors into the church market.

What helps make LCD projectors so appealing is their relative ease-of-use, dynamic presentation qualities and flexibility. There are many different makes and models available today on the market, ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, and there is a projector perfect for nearly every possible use.

John Ubben, marketing director for Capital Communications Industries (CCI), one of Hitachi America, Ltd.’s major distributors of projectors for the church market, has witnessed this technology infusion take place.

“LCD projectors are replacing overhead projectors,” said Ubben. “They’re being used in the auditorium to enhance worship services, in classrooms to aid in teaching and keep children engaged, and in fellowship halls and meeting rooms for presentations of all types.” Ken Spriggs, senior pastor at Crossroads Foursquare Church in Richmond, Wash., has experienced these benefits firsthand.

Spriggs, who has been at Crossroads Foursquare for a little more than two years, initially didn’t have the luxury provided by LCD projectors. However, he was no stranger to them either.

“I came from another large church which had an overhead projection system,” said Spriggs. “The high quality really makes a difference, and the congregation takes notice.”

Upon making the move to Crossroads Foursquare, Spriggs worked with CCI to help identify the appropriate projector to satisfy the church’s needs. He chose two new replacement LCD projectors because of their brightness and clarity. The benefits to the congregation and church were immediate.

“Right now we use the projectors in our worship service for the music,” said Spriggs. “And, we also put all of our information for the bulletin on the projectors, which saves us money on printing costs because we don’t have to produce church bulletins each week.”

The response from the congregation, according to Spriggs, has been nothing but positive.

“Since we went from the old overhead projectors to the LCDs, it has been so much easier for the people to read the music and announcements,” he said. “The text is clearer and brighter, which has made it much easier on the eyes and this allows us to move along more quickly. There’s no doubt in my mind that their use has made the service a lot more professional.”

In addition to improving the quality of presentations and saving money, the projectors appeal to the younger members, said Spriggs. By keeping up to date on the newest technology, the church has been able to attract a new generation of churchgoers.

According to Ubben, this isn’t one isolated incident. “Church leaders want to be culturally relevant and there is a trend to invest in new technology,” said Ubben. “Younger generations who are used to employing technology are now part of the leadership and are making decisions about what kind of an image their churches should have.”

While LCD projectors are a relatively new advancement in the church market, there is nowhere to go but up from here according to Ubben.

“It only makes sense that as prices come down, and church expectations rise, the market will continue to grow at high rates,” he said.

It’s safe to say, projectors are here to stay.