House lights down, stage lights up. Swirling greens and blues illuminate curtains behind singers, guitar players and the rest of the band. Flat screen televisions flaunt graphics and videos that were seemingly created for the song filling the sanctuary and our ears. The big screens are always there, just above the stage to remind us of what word comes next in the song. It’s sometimes difficult to focus with so much going on, especially if there’s a funny person doing their awesomely comical little dance somewhere within my range of vision, but this is worship. We put a lot of effort into glorifying God, and it’s good.
My church really gets into the ambience in the sanctuary when worship is going on. We’re not alone in this endeavor, as many churches who have the money are investing in new lighting systems, stage sets, sound equipment, and the list goes on. Our media pastor always has new ideas that always seem to blow the previous ones out of the water; it seems that no idea is too difficult for him to figure out. That is, until now.
I would trade in all our lights, curtains, fog machines, and everything else for some pyrotechnics. In spite of the challenge it presents, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. I just like fire. I think that having some for certain aspects of our “Worship Experience” (which includes the preaching of the Word) would greatly enhance the whole event. I don’t think that we would do much more than just a candle-lit stage during worship, so that I could NOT see how funny people are, and really pay attention to Jesus, especially when I’m singing about “Oh how He loves me” because when you don’t focus on the object of your affection, it’s like being on a date with one girl while thinking about another, only probably worse. It would become more interesting after worship.
Imagine a pulpit that shot flames out the sides, with a whole row of big torches in the very back of the stage. You could really preach the hell out of people with tools like that. The set-up wouldn’t be overly complicated: there would be a button for each location, and all you’d have to do is push at the right moment for a dramatic effect that would leave people astonished. It would be particularly apropos in one of those riveting “coming to God” messages that I’m absolutely in love with. Telling people to change their ways and come to Jesus or they’ll go to that place that always smells like burnt hair just brings joy to my heart, and with the effects that little, appropriately placed torches would bring, I bet any church would see a huge increase in conversions.