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Trends in Worship Facilities

By Craig Janssen

We’ve discussed the triangle of communication  in a previous post and how it impacts auditorium design.

As the way people communicate with each other changes, there are practical and cultural implications to the way people engage within a space—many of them outside of the triangle.

These trends in worship facilities allows pastors and congregations to engage at a different level within their facilities, such as:

Breaking the stage line

A hard stage line creates separation—a sort of us vs. them. But the digital world values connection, so strategies such as thrust stages, theatre in the round, environmental projection, and having more than one focus point in a room blurs the lines of separation and creates community within a space.

Creating in Real Time

One of the things that sports facilities do is create in real time.  There is no script for a national level sporting event.  Oh sure, there are parameters such as how many players are on the field and the shape of the field of play, but for the people who man the video boards and play the music, everything unfolds in real time. They react with content as the game happens. Technologies such as Show Control, Click Effects, Coollux and even iTunes allow operators to select content from a palette of preproduced content to create the event in real time.

Finding Opportunities to Co-Create

The future of worship facilities is much more bi-directional than in previous years. Generations raised in a broadcast era were used to linear presentations that didn’t necessarily require engagement.  Digital generations are used to non-linear formats where they can comment, hack, modify and customize.  There are technologies that facilitate co-creation such as Pangolin’s text-to-screen, Poll Anywhere and even working in Google Docs live on a screen, but this co-creation doesn’t have to be technical.  It can also include collaborative art pieces, material created by the congregation and/or program elements that not only invite participation, but also allow the congregation to impact the flow of the service.

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