By Kevin Christopherson
Over the last few years, technology has become a progressively important player in houses of worship, changing the methods of interactivity in religious ceremonies and programs.
Video displays, including dvLEDs, projectors and interactive boards are playing an important role in offering new opportunities to engage congregants and enhance the overall worship experience.
By adding visual elements and creating interactive experiences, congregations can experience a more engaging and dynamic environment that resonates with members and helps to build a stronger and more connected community.
Here are a few points to consider when implementing visual solutions into your place of worship.
Make It Experiential
Making a house of worship more experiential not only helps service attendees to be more engaged, but it can also help in bringing them closer to each other.
Projectors or displays can be used to showcase images, lyrics to verses or songs, or video content to support the overall message of the service, bringing interaction and liveliness to your house of worship through various points of contact. These practices allow members to easily follow along and immerse themselves in the worship experience.
To set the scene even further on what is being preached, the use of a well-placed visual solution can allow for your house of worship to essentially metamorphose, meaning your congregation can be transported into a life-like experience of your choosing.
The use of touchscreen displays opens a door for a level of immersion that has not been practiced largely as of yet. For instance, touchscreens can be used to provide further detail on scenes or characters being discussed, encouraging members to be more aware of who or what they are hearing or speaking about.
Touchscreen devices can also be used as a prayer board, offering congregants the opportunity to request prayers during certain services and allowing for discussions on faith to be held before or after ritual.
When used in meaningful ways, these practices encourage members to be more active and aware during prayer and create more dynamic experiences that allow followers to be more immersed in their faith.
Understanding Your Audience
Only in recent years have houses of worship begun implementing technology into their practices and ceremonies, so it is important to understand the learning curve that comes along with this.
Different generations have varying levels of experience with this kind of technology, making it necessary to gauge your congregation’s demographics and knowledge and adjust interactive technologies according to their needs.
Younger generations are far more likely to be comfortable with using these kinds of displays and more technologically advanced devices in various settings, while older generations are used to seeing simple displays and projectors.
While the elevation of using technology in your house of worship takes time, it’s crucial to ensure that each member can fully participate and immerse themselves in the experience.
Consider holding a training session to educate members on the technology being used. Test the waters of what level of technology your congregation is comfortable with – whether it be a large-scale projector or display showing hymns and verses, or a dvLED display of your lightbox signs – and from there begin slowly working towards an immersive experience everyone can enjoy.
Apart from this, making sure the house of worship holds its character is important when adjusting to new technology. Projectors or dvLEDs can be a wonderful source of energy and excitement for services, but it is, of course, imperative that they do not distract from spiritual messages.
Think about using displays as an enhancement to the flow and enthusiasm coming from your services rather than separate moving pieces; these tools will help bring your congregation towards a more cohesive unit.
Embrace the New
With new technology comes endless opportunities to implement creativity into your house of worship. Do not be afraid to think outside of the box and experiment with these possibilities on how to elevate your worship experience with interactive displays.
Here are a few examples on how to further emulsify your congregation in a more technologically cohesive holy experience:
- Utilize an interactive display with touchscreen capabilities for creating a collaborative art project, involving members of the congregation to project their faith into one cohesive piece.
With the canvas being larger than average, this display project allows for teamwork capabilities with multiuser contributions. The artists can even print out and each take home their own copy. Whether this be with the younger members who are still learning about their faith and could use interactive education, or older members who are looking to express themselves, this project can be both entertaining and expressive of the tone and personal experiences that are reflective of your house of worship.
- Many houses of worship feature a center bulletin board displaying the ways to get more involved in the group’s community.
By enhancing this board and giving it a technological edge, with an LCD or dvLED screen, members of the congregation are more likely to engage with it.
- Using technology to immerse congregations in the culture of their faith is something that can enhance the service experience.
Consider using a large-scale projector or a video wall to simulate travel to a place of significance in your faith. This experience will draw members closer to the root of their religion, as well as provide a background to the history of what their faith holds, all from the comfort of the house of worship to which they belong.
Kevin Christopherson is the director of product marketing for Sharp NEC Display Solutions, a leading global provider of professional and commercial visual technology and digital signage solutions, www.sharpnecdisplays.us.