Smells and Bells – Worship Environments
The environment of your worship space can enhance worship or take away from the worship experience. Often, when we are accustomed to a building that houses our worship space, we can completely overlook things that can distract from worship. Perhaps we need to look at our worship environment with fresh eyes.
Here are a few items to consider in evaluating the healthiness of your sanctuary:
- Space. Look around your worship area. Are there distractions? Clutter? Paint peeling off the walls? Does the space help people sense God’s presence?
- Lighting. If the lighting is too bright, it might make people feel too self-conscious in worship. Dimming the lights in more intimate times of worship can be helpful.
- Projected Images. Are the words on the screen clearly legible? Are the fonts easy to read and large enough for those sitting at the back of the sanctuary to see without difficulty? Do the images that are being projected provide a worshipful environment? Do your images reflect excellence or mediocrity? We live in a very visual world–don’t thoughtlessly throw together your video presentations.
- Smells. What does the area smell like? For example, strong musty, damp smells can deter the sense of worship. On the other hand, strong cleaning fluids or fragrances can also be damaging.
- Audio. Are the instruments and voices clearly heard and balanced? Is the music overbearing? Many times, people complain that the music is hurting their ears when it is not an issue of volume levels at all–the equalization needs to be adjusted. Be sure your audio is so good that the people in the congregation don’t even think about it (not too loud, not too quiet, just right).
Take a fresh look (and smell, and hearing) of your space. Are you providing an atmosphere that is conducive to worship, or one that distracts from our time of encountering God? Even if you meet in a warehouse, school, or other rented facility, you can still take some significant steps to making the environment a better place for worship.
What other environmental considerations do you think should be evaluated?