More Churches Go High-Tech as Equipment Prices Drop

( [email protected] ) Jun 08, 2004 08:31 PM EDT

Churches have been catching on to the benefits of technology in worship over the last several years. As the technology advances and as prices fall, an increasing number of churches are integrating high-tech audio and visual components into their worship services.

The worship experience is being transformed into a dazzling performance with the attendees experiencing a fresh presentation of the gospel. Lower prices on audio and video equipment have opened the stage for an increasing number of smaller churches.

"Video technology is probably the hot button right now. More and more churches are getting interested in using video as a communications tool," said Jerry Horn, marketing manager for All Pro Sound. "The pricing on video has really made it affordable and within reach of even smaller congregations looking to have a better or more effective way to communicate in their services."

A typical setup used in services includes a couple projectors with screens and a computer with dual monitors in a control booth said Horn. Common uses for video projection are for worship, teaching, and informational meetings. During services the screens display inspirational pictures, announcements, video clips, sermon notes, and Bible verses. Some churches also use them as a paging system where, for example, the technician will flash the names of the parents of a child having problems in the nursery.

"Worship leaders use video to help set the mood of worship and to direct congregational singing, oftentimes replacing the traditional printed bulletins and hymnals with onscreen versions of the lyrics," said Horn. "Pastors use video to emphasize key points in their sermons, thus helping the congregation to better understand the message being presented."

A decade ago, a basic video system ran between $12,000 and $15,000, often more than a small congregation could afford. Prices today have dropped in response to better technology and more demand.

"A basic video system that we sell runs just under $5,000, which will get you a projector, a VCR/DVD combo player, a projector mount and preconfigured computer system with the software program," said Horn. "The only additional piece that would need to go into a system like that would be the screen itself. Of course, the screen needs vary depending on the type of venue you have." According to Horn screen prices range from $80 to $1500.