Attendees Flock in for Multisensory Services

( [email protected] ) Jul 27, 2004 10:45 AM EDT

Ginghamsburg church in Tipp City, Ohio has successfully integrated media and technology to its ministry. Creative visuals and internet usage has drawn in more people and has allowed them to connect to God.

Michael Slaughter, senior pastor, of this church, and author of the book “Out on the Edge : A Wake-Up Call for Church Leaders on the Edge of the Media Reformation”, says it is essential that the church understand the impact of electronic media.

The goal is to communicate the gospel in a language that everyone can understand. "God gets our attention not through cerebral abstract ideas," says Slaughter, "but through vision."

Slaughter preaches in front of a 20” screen that has something projected onto it constantly throughout the service. The church also has a volunteer media team that handles the video, audio, graphics and even animation.

It is apparent that Slaughter’s ideas have brought a positive impact on the church. When Slaughter took over the pastorate in this church in 1979, which is part of the United Methodist denomination, some 90 people attended the church. Today, around 3800 people attend one of Ginghamsburg’s four multi-sensory services.

The church first started using Multimedia on Dec. 17th, 1994 and has done so every Sunday since then. “The first 6 months were terrible,” admits Slaughter. However, his faith in the new approach was not shaken and he continued to push in this direction saying, “"We’ve got to do this, because our children are doing it. This is the language they speak."

Along with the multisensory services, Ginghamsburg created on-line communities that use Internet technology to aid communication within the church as well as with believers across the globe. The on-line communities consist of discussion forums for specific ministry groups or for people with common areas of interest. Within a community, users can exchange information about various topics via web browser or email.