One of the neat things that we do here at MPBC is try to engage the senses in worship. Obviously, the main sense we reach with music is hearing, but we also do our best to engage the eyes. I’ve learned that some people don’t worship by what they hear. They worship by what they see. I like to call them visual worshippers. These are the people who enjoy going to museums and looking at paintings and sculptures. While that doesn’t particularly appeal to me, that’s what these people really enjoy. So, we try to do our best to keep them visually engaged with what we are doing. The biggest resource we use is lighting. Our stage has a lot of lights and with them we try to make each song look and feel different. Whether it’s the use of contrast between light and dark, changing colors, or changing the lights to the beat of the music, the goal is for each individual song to have its own unique look. That’s not to say that we are trying to mimic a rock concert, because we aren’t. Our desire is for the lighting effects we use to accent the music and not take away from it. They should help further and deepen the worship environment, not distract from it.
Another tool we use here at MPBC is environmental projection. This one is really cool. Let me explain what that is. Our stage is built into the front wall of our worship facility. We have 2 screens on that front wall that we project lyrics onto. A few years ago we added the ability to project images and videos on the entire front wall. This is done by using 3 projectors that split the image or video into 3 sections and then project each section on the wall to make it look like one continuous image or video. We use this a lot when we do concerts, but we also use it some for our normal Sunday morning worship services. It really does make a big difference in the worship environment. I personally believe it helps remind people how big and majestic God’s presence is.
One last tool that we use on occasion is haze and fog. We have a hazer that emits a verylight see-thru fog. The main purpose of the haze is to make the light beams more noticeable. When the light shines through the haze you can actually see the light beams. It’s pretty neat. Fog on the other hand is much thicker and more noticeable. We generally use dry ice to make fog (although we do have normal fog machines for big productions-Passion Play, drams, etc…). Dry ice can be a very effective tool. Here’s a picture from a concert we did in 2012. We used dry ice to “flood” the stage with fog on “Revelation Song”. “Revelation Song” is about worshipping Jesus in heaven and the fog gives the appearance of heavenly clouds. The kids in the audience always love this effect because the fog just rolls off the stage into the audience. They really enjoy waving their hands through it.
All of these tools are just some of the ways in which we try to engage people and encourage them to worship. We aren’t looking to re-create a concert type feel to our services, but we are trying to do everything we can to help people worship the Lord.