by Bill Chegwidden FAIA, founding principal and president CDH Partners
Forty years ago, I remember being in a worship service where the pastor spoke with a missionary by telephone, who was living on the other side of the world. The conversation was broadcast live and everyone in attendance was amazed by what they heard.
If that same missionary was with us today, he or she would have even more of an opportunity to engage an audience and to become an integral part of the service. Digital technology creates an atmosphere where individuals on the other side of the city, state, country, or world can appear to be on stage in front of us. But the technology doesn’t stop here. It goes far beyond this to a point where a church can become a central point of focus within a community by using various forms of media and communication. It all begins when church leaders ask a very important question: How do we connect the needs of our congregation in today’s evolving digital world?
For years, churches have looked for effective ways to bridge this growing gap by having a traditional and non-traditional worship services but change has always been hard. Just a few years ago, architects designed churches and worship centers with long narrow hallways, large classrooms, and very few gathering spaces. We’ve moved away from this because we realize that people crave community. They want to worship in churches that provide areas and spaces that encourage interaction and engagement. And they want these areas to be places that are welcoming, bright, and warm. Some contain fireplaces, coffee bars, Wi-Fi, and an atmosphere that is engaging and builds community. They are places where people connect with others. To continue reading this article, please click here.