Language of Light: Using Visuals to Communicate Culture

In modern worship, we can use visual language that draws upon 2,000 years of church history, and generations of culture.

Language of Light: Using Visuals to Communicate Culture
Lighting and projection help communicate the church's mission during a recent worship service at Crossroads Community Church in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
Credit: Tom Neforas for Crossroads Community Church

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Language of Light: Using Visuals to Communicate Culture

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Language of Light: Using Visuals to Communicate Culture

Lighting Design Resource

For Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.
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Finding Your Voice

Obviously, I’m working in generalizations with these two extreme, but realistic, scenarios. If you have a room without windows, you can obviously find a way to communicate oneness in worship. For example, you could keep the lights very simple and natural on the band, keep the houselights up on the congregation, while projecting a video of the town common behind song lyrics, and blend in either thematic or liturgical colors using LED lights on your stage design.

Now that represents a priority on inclusiveness in the body, an outward focus to the community, and some subtle concert lighting for a relatable, modern touch.

But if you want to express congregational worship, for example, a dark room with a spotlight on a singer and concert effects may not communicate that.

When rolling out changes like this, you may find a disconnect, as people who once worshipped freely with you, start to talk about how worship has become a show.

What they may be trying to say is that the values they believed the church stood for are no longer represented or easy to see. If that happens, you may ask yourself, did the values change, or are they not being communicated visually?

Finally, all elements of the service ideally must work together to support the core values and mission of the church – the architecture, the artwork (real or projected), the music, the sound, the lights, the preaching, and the culture that radiates beyond Sunday morning.

As lighting and worship tech directors, let’s do our part to show people what our church is all about.




More About Adrian Gates
Adrian Gates is the Media Director for Crossroads Community Church in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. In his 16 years as a media professional, Adrian has served many different roles, including music producer, web master, videographer, consultant, social media “expert,” sound guy, lighting guy, stage hand, and roadie. His clients have included some of the largest tech companies in the world, New England churches looking to modernize, and dedicated weekend warriors. Adrian is a graduate of the New England Institute of Art and Communications.
Get in Touch: mediaservices@crossroadsconnects.com    More by Adrian Gates

Latest Resource

For Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.


Article Topics

Technology · Lighting · Visual Arts · Lighting Design · Team Management · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Language · Light Pollution · Lighting Design · Motion · Stained Glass Windows · Subconscious · All Topics

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