Anything But Dull
Technology for Worship Article
As the Phoenix area has grown, corn and cattle have given way to communities filled with young families. Hundreds of new churches have sprung up to serve the needs of these new residents, but few have grown quite as quickly as Mission Community Church in Gilbert. Less than two months after opening their new campus, the church’s 1500-seat sanctuary packs multiple services weekly, drawn by Mission Community’s powerful, modern worship experience.
Several of the church leaders explain, Mission Community’s approach is anything but traditional. “Words like ‘choir’ and ‘pulpit’ aren’t even in our vocabulary.” “We think more like a rock show. Technology’s such a big part of people’s lives today, and we try to use technology to create an immersive and intimate worship experience. We’re not here to entertain them, but what we do had better engage them.”
That technology includes state-of-the-art video, lighting and sound, with massive video screens, a powerful JBL sound system and dual Avid VENUE systems – “One of the church’s goals was to create a system that could deliver professional, concert-level sound and mix capabilities,” says Shannon Ericsson of Olympia, Washington-based Omega Consultants, the Technical Ministry Program designer and integrator.
Ericsson says it was essential to receive the pastor’s input and his ministry program objectives to the project, he was able to bring a lot of substance to the church’s vision, and he was influential in the decision to go with the technical ministry program I was recommending.
A prerequisite in designing the system was Mission Community’s goal that it be able to support national-level Christian touring groups. A number of the church worship ministry team commented, “When we bring in a touring act or guest artist, it’s great to know that our system typically exceeds what they have specified on their rider, and that we have people who know how to use it.”
Many of the church pastoral staff sum it up like this; “the systems designed by Shannon & his team have far exceeded everyone’s expectations. At the end of the day, it’s not just about technology for technology’s sake. These tools exist to serve the worship experience, not the other way around. This new system has enabled us to experience an “ease” of producing technical ministry every Sunday, to our Christian community here in Gilbert……”