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Direction

Have you ever felt odd walking into a worship experience, not having a clue what to do or why? Did you ever feel like you were totally out of place, like you did not belong?  Did you ever visit trying to meet, connect with and explore God but the experience itself got in the way?

At Way Stations we cannot explain what specific faith communities do or why, but we can try to help you to do your part, to make the most of your worship experience, and hopefully help you to find what you are looking for as you seek the place the best brings you into community with God, Christ, Holy Spirit, and genuine Christ-like folks.

Open Up, Give It Up, Soak It Up!

Open Up: When you visit a worship experience you may be tempted to look at everything that happens from your own point of view. When you try something new you need to be fair and open minded and receptive to what is being offered. Make up your mind in advance to learn, to be open to the experience. Take notes and save evaluation for debriefing after the visit.

Presume the people are trying to do something good. Presume the God you seek is a God who also seeks to be real and in touch with you. Look for what you can learn. Go with positive attitude and you will be open to what good the experience can offer.

Give It Up: When doing a new thing to get the most out of it you need to put your best into it. Before you go, try to find out in advance what they do and how they do it. Find out what to expect. It helps if you can go with someone you know who has been there before or who attends regularly. They can help you prepare and to get the most out of the experience. You could try calling or emailing in advance and asking for information on how it works or what to expect. (Their response could tell you a lot too.)

When you attend try to participate as best you can. Do not expect to understand or to enjoy everything at the first time. Do not deny yourself the good that could come by surprise. Worship experiences should have some degree of mystery, discovery, inspiration and wonder.

Soak It Up: Notice everything. Watch and listen from the moment you arrive on the grounds through the moment you leave the area. Observe the people, the art, the architecture, the music, the personalities, the experiences, the words, prayers, attitudes, friendliness, and the spiritual elements you encounter. Observe your own emotions and reactions; examine your thoughts and feelings throughout. Note the character of the people you meet. Note questions. Talk to those with whom you attended and debrief the full experience. (Sometimes this works best with a meal or refreshment at another location.)

Would you like to know more?

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Today many churches are considering the purchase and use of projectors and screens. In non-traditional churches the use of screens in worship is essential. Traditional churches have option, but much planning and promotion is required. The general idea is to add vitality and cultural relevance to the worship experience. In today’s North American culture each individual has access to multiple screens in their daily lives, often simultaneously. From GPS and head’s up displays in cars, to “smart phones”, multiple screen game platforms, computers and large screen TVs. Young people today can’t imagine life without screens. The church that is not sensitive or responsive to the cultural lifestyle of the people of its community is considered irrelevant and meaningless by that community.
 
Yet, all tools for worship need careful planning and effectively promoted and adopted in order to be accepted and supported. To help church to be effective in planning and implementation we offer the following questions. The use of multi-media tools in worship and programming can be a great addition to communication, mood and participation if it is planned, promoted and used effectively.
 
Screen Issues to Consider:
 
1. How will the screen be used? Will projection/screen be used in permanent or portable location? Will screen be a primary inspiration source or background? What will content be?
 
2. Will the screen be used in all or part of worship?; all or some worship services?
 
3. How will the screen and projection equipment be integrated in presentation space in most effective way? (Respect internal cultural diversity and needs.)
 
4. What is the plan to enlist congregation support for equipment and use? How will church manage the change and response to it?
 
5. Who will prepare screen content (insuring effective integration with full worship experience)? Screen & content must add to, not distract from worship or theme.
 
6. Who will operate the equipment?
 
7.  What are total costs? List ALL costs are reflected in the total (hardware, mounting, appearance, software, licensing, content).
 
Way Stations consulting services for multimedia design, worship planning, and implementation are available. For information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.