A Different Venue (Visiting Church #16)
The church we visited this Sunday is a nondenominational gathering that meets in a public school auditorium. In some parts of the United States it’s unheard of for a church to meet in a government building, but in our area, it is not. Though some would overreach, citing a need for “separation of church and state,” I see this as a wise way to increase the use of public buildings, generate revenue for the school, and save the church from needing to purchase and maintain a facility.
It’s an older building but with an updated auditorium complete with theater seating, movable armrests, and cup holders—beverages and snacks are a prominent part of their gathering. The auditorium has a sloped floor for easy viewing. The main level seats about 225 and is mostly full; I’m not sure about the balcony.
Casually dressed, people of all ages fill the place. The worship team is much like what we’ve seen at other contemporary services, as is the “teaching,” though it’s more informal. The pastor sits on a stool while speaking, weaves pop culture into his message, and banters a bit with some people in the front.
There’s more AV technology in play than we’ve seen so far. They use cameras to project the pastor’s image on the large screen behind him. If song lyrics or Bible verses aren’t being displayed, a shot of the pastor is. Three stationary cameras mounted on the front face of the balcony provide views from different angles. Though they lack the ability to pan or zoom, the cameras are a nice addition and I suspect provide a welcomed alternate view from the balcony.
There are many things I like about this church, the service, the pastor, and the message, but I’m most impressed with their use of technology and especially their venue.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.