production as worship

Church Production As Worship

February 2, 2023
dan austin - browncroft production director
Dan Austin

I have served in church production for a number of years, and I’ve come to realize that worship technology is something of a mystery for many. In fact, even relatives at Thanksgiving have wondered aloud why a church would need a full-time production director at all. 

My purpose in writing this post is not to justify my own existence. It’s to explain the heart behind our use of technology at Browncroft. We are blessed with such a beautiful space to gather, and I believe that the physical environment we create is not merely of functional utility — it’s a form of worship itself. 

Audio, lighting, and video systems are powerful tools.  They can create intense, even overwhelming, moments. But they can also shift our attention and focus in subtle, quiet ways.

This dynamic ability to change the physical environment of worship in seconds means that our technology can be either an asset or a distraction. A speaker or lighting fixture is not inherently helpful or unhelpful — they are tools used to create an environment for worship. Their ability to distract or enhance depends on our intentionality. 

Think about King Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6-8 gives a detailed description). It’s a functional building with features that serve specific purposes. But it’s also incredibly ornate. The Temple was built to inspire awe and reverence and remind those who entered of the beauty and power of God Himself.

The modern tools we use to create an environment of worship might be entirely different than those used by Solomon, but I believe our goal should be the same. We use light, sound, and video to create an immersive experience that allows us to move past the distractions of our lives and enter into God’s story.  

I often challenge our Sunday production volunteers to measure success in terms of engagement. Beyond the functional minimum of clearly seeing and hearing what’s happening on the platform, our technology should serve to focus our attention on the message and inspire a congregational response. There is a place for big, bright, and loud, and there is a place for quiet and subdued.

We use light, sound, and video to create an immersive experience that allows us to move past the distractions of our lives and enter into God’s story.

If our services communicate the narrative of God’s love for us and invite us into that narrative, our technology should do the same. Every choice should serve the narrative and the moment. And if we leave church thinking about the technology rather than the message, we’ve missed the mark. 

I’m certain we don’t always get it right, but intention is more important than perfection. If you’ve ever proudly hung your child’s crayon drawing on the refrigerator, you understand exactly what I mean. All of our lights, sound, songs, and sermons probably look like stick figures drawn with crayons to the God who created everything. But He’s interested in our hearts. Our crayon drawings become beautiful art when our intention is to communicate love, and I believe our Father hangs them proudly on the refrigerator.

About The Author

dan austin - browncroft production director
Dan Austin

Dan Austin is the Production Director at Browncroft. He oversees audio, lighting, and video for live services and leads a team of volunteers who serve on Browncroft’s production team. Dan and his wife, Kelsey, live in East Irondequoit.

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