When it comes to technology especially, church design is constantly evolving. Even a traditional church building will require an occasional technological update to keep pace with the times. Here’s a case study of the Church of the Messiah, which wanted to hold firm to its traditional feel, but also needed to modernize its technology infrastructure.
Evolving Church Technology
First, why is updating tech so important? Here is an example of how much technology in church design has changed. Pictured is a control room from the ‘90s and how it looks today. Notice how the old facility was filled with bulky equipment, requiring a considerable workforce to operate. In the recent picture there is a stark contrast – equipment is reduced and streamlined so it’s more efficient, less complicated and requires fewer personnel for operation.
Meeting a Modernization Challenge
The Church of the Messiah needed a technological update that is typical – one that would also preserve its traditional church design. Its audio and video controls were scattered across a table in a corner of the church. Lighting was controlled through a hodgepodge of switches on the back wall and required trial and error to get the right fixtures turned on or off.
There were other challenges to this technology modernization. The church had a platform with fixed levels, heavy furniture that was challenging to move, and a colossal pipe organ that stretched from wall to wall behind the platform. Each one had to be taken into consideration. The McKnight Group took on the challenges to come up with a creative church design that met church leaders’ needs.
First, chairs replaced pews in the first few rows to add a layer of flexibility to the sanctuary’s layout. The platform was reimagined, opening up space for movable choir arrangements and the freedom to rearrange the organ and piano. In place of the traditional, fixed, and heavy communion table, the church now had a more versatile option, allowing them to adapt their setup to suit different occasions.
The audio and video equipment were centralized into a dedicated tech booth, along with lighting control. Camera wires were neatly hidden, reducing visual distractions. But the most remarkable change was the introduction of a custom-sized video screen.
A Custom Video Screen
The screen was placed in front of the organ pipe rooms where wood slats that once hid the organ pipes and became a centerpiece of the worship center. The video screen underwent rigorous testing to ensure it didn’t affect the sound quality from the organ. It became a tool for enhancing the worship experience, with the congregation finding innovative ways to incorporate it into services.
This harmonious blending of technology with tradition can serve as an inspiration for other church leaders facing similar challenges. If your church is considering a similar transformation or needs updating of any kind, reach out to the McKnight Group with your questions and let us help. We also invite you to learn more about church design and church building by signing up for our free i3 webinars.