September 30, 2010

A New Perspective on Screens

Many churches over the past five to ten years have added screens in the sanctuary. Screens convey announcements, sermon illustrations, as well as the words for hymns, and liturgy.

Recently, my husband, Mike, encountered a different perspective on the use of screens when he visited a couple from India who have been attending church for several weeks. The husband and wife have lived in the United States for thirteen years, however, the husband was much more proficient in English than the wife. The couple is Hindu, but a friend of theirs in India encouraged them to attend a Protestant church to learn more about Christianity.

The couple commented how helpful the screens were as they learned a new form of worship. The screens offered a visual cue to supplement the auditory experience that came from singing and praying -- opening new ways to understand what was happening during the service. And the repetitive scroll of events and prayers offered continuous opportunities to learn English.

Most people who attend the church speak English, but for those few whose command of the language is limited, screens can provide a unique way to teach English and guide persons toward a deeper walk with God.

Does your church use screens in worship? What benefits do you see?

Jacquie Reed
Fishers, Indiana


  1. Dear Jacquie, Thanks for the great post. That use of screens had never occured to me. At our church, we do have a screen for both of our worship venues. You are right to say that sometimes, seeing is believing. We've had a lot of success of using the screen even in the traditional service, especially when we show the kids at VBS or the church folks on a mission trip.

  2. I think screens are great because they enable worshipers to be hands-free (not fumbling with books) and to keep their heads up when singing or reading, as opposed to facing down into a book.

    I also think that many churches' reasons for not using them reflect misplaced priorities--valuing an old-fashioned aesthetic over ease of participation in worship.