It has a stage. Stage lighting. A mounted set of PA speakers. A sound desk. Microphones. Flat screen TV. Blacked-out windows.
Why do we do this?
We are turning an environment of intimacy into a concert hall. We are creating an aural barrier between the Main Speaker and the eardrums of the well-within-earshot Audience. We run the natural human voice through a mile of cables and processors, converting it to a digital signal and then artificially reproducing it until “it” comes out of a box mounted on the wall, further away from the hearer than the actual voice box of the person speaking.
This is the ecclesiastical equivalent of having a text message “conversation” with your spouse while you’re lying in the same bed.
In our church, we have tossed out the sound system—even though we often have close to 80 people in a large courtroom. Why?
Because the sound system separates the music ensemble and the preacher from the rest of the congregation, making those *special* people seem like they are above and beyond the people assembled. “Liturgy” means “the work of the people”, not “the performance of the pastor” or “the staging of the singers”.
Getting all “stagy” is not a deadly sin. Unplugging is not a cardinal virtue.
But let’s use our common sense.
Get these daily posts in your email inbox.