What’s the Point of IMAG?
There is value in using IMAG to, in essence, shrink a worship space. A major point of IMAG should be to help the congregation connect with the people who are leading them in worship.
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The tech junkies of the world (yes … that is you and me) have created a conundrum within the church worship space.
As we have built new or remodeled rooms for worship, we have for many years, included video displays comprised of LED wall, projection, or large TV flavors.
The problem we have created, though, is posed in the following question: “What do we put on the screen?”
When we don’t have a fresh idea or some amazing graphics the default is to fall back to IMAG.
This problematic trend is seen even more as smaller churches try to pattern themselves after the “successful” megachurches. The giant screens with concert-worthy video projection are impressive and entertaining, but is it what is best for the church?
Here enters the raging debate: What’s the point of using IMAG?
Before we push on, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page. There are several definitions of the term IMAG that are running around out there. For this article, we are simply referencing the term as a shortcut for saying Image MAGnification. That is, we are merely trying to take an image and magnify it for the purpose of making it easily seen.
I have the privilege of serving in a relatively large church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church. Our worship center can seat about 2,000 people. That’s a lot of people to put in once place, so we need to help the members of the congregation who are sitting toward the back of the room, to see what is happening on the platform (stage, altar, etc.). Therefore, we use live cameras to magnify the image of the worship leader and teaching pastor during a worship service.
The video directors and I routinely have conversations about what camera shots are beneficial and helpful for the congregation during worship. The general idea is that if we are putting an image on the screen that is smaller than the natural eye can see in the room, then we are no longer doing IMAG.
Our volunteers are very creative and can compose some incredibly moving video shots, but if they don’t magnify the image seen by the congregation’s eye, then we generally (not always) don’t use that shot.
The purpose of showing live video on screens during worship is not so that we can have the same experience as going to a concert. Our congregation doesn’t come to church for a concert, or to be entertained with great video production. We use IMAG to help the congregation connect with the worship leader and pastor, as if they were in a smaller, more intimate room.
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.