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Unread 09-29-2014, 08:42 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
Something I've been wrestling with a ton from a personal position is whether or not this is something that is inherent to individuals, or something unique about the way our generation was raised that allows us to be easily distracted or easily lose focus during worship.
Something unique to a generation.

I find I can lose focus easier with flashing lights and a full on production in many ways more than in a stark, brightly lit place playing hymns with nothing but a piano. I would say it also tends to be a trait in more places than just in a worship service. Having been in college a silly length of time, I can see changes in how students study. I dare say that the current generation is far more space and atmosphere conscious than my generation. Not saying it is a good or bad thing, but I think it is a more current thing.

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Unread 09-29-2014, 01:08 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Mr. RM View Post
We are all different. To me...a baby crying is MUCH less distracting than flashing lights, animated worship backgrounds, or loud music.
And for me it's the baby that is much more distracting. My attention is immediately drawn to sounds more than visuals, so if I'm paying attention in one area and a sound comes from somewhere else, my attention can be broken quickly.
This is why I have such a difficult time relaxing when I am a spectator or a visitor at a new church and the mix is bad. They could have the best or the worst graphics ever and I won't care much, but if the sound is off...
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Unread 09-29-2014, 02:18 PM   #33
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Of if a guitar is slightly out of tune...

We all have our OCD points, don't we? I don't have an answer for this, but find this discussion fascinating.
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Unread 09-29-2014, 04:07 PM   #34
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Honestly...I much more distracted by many of the crappy songs being used as praise and worship than I am anything else.




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Unread 09-29-2014, 04:24 PM   #35
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My distraction at a new Church is paying too much attention to the guitar/s being used, and the rig...

If you ever see someone looking intently at you through worship and it makes you feel really uncomfortable because you have no idea why, it's probably me... or an ex-girlfriend... or a stalker... take your pick.
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Unread 10-08-2014, 01:21 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Reuben View Post
I think there is a very stark difference between old stained glass windows or the ornaments of the tabernacle and the modern day church light and fog show.

Many of the pieces in the temple/tabernacle were symbolic or meant to be reminders of very particular things—God's provision; the covering/forgiveness of sins; etc. The pieces had meaning and purpose.

Similarly, old stain glass windows typically depict scenes from the Biblical narrative. They focus us on Christ, the story of our fall and redemption. The story of our salvation.

In both cases, the worshipper is focussed outside of themselves on the real and concrete objects of the faith … and ultimately on Christ. The heart and mind remain engaged.

In contrast, the aesthetics of the modern day church show have about as much meaningful substance as the fog that's used. It's neither here nor there. But I guess it can give warm fuzzies. … yay?

In my experience, it's a tool to focus you inward, give you that emotional experience and the impression that something spiritual is happening, regardless of what the actual lyrical/doctrinal content of the worship is.

In my opinion, it's little more than emotional manipulation.
Sorry to harp on an old comment...but...

I renovated a Catholic church once, and could not get over the fact that the stained glass windows had the names of the donors and sponsors on them. While I think your sentiments are admirable, I don't think romanticizing the past is the answer either.

As a musician that partakes in worship ministries, I'm caught. I side with Francis Schaeffer in the spirit that worship at church is a communal affair, and that fact should be the driving force behind how we go about writing, performing, and partaking in the worship music. However, the reality of our current situation says that we need to contextualize to some extent in order to bring the layman into worship.

Our church has one spotlight and two LED strips that are adjustable, but not to the extent of most venues. We lower the lights and set a soft light on the stage, sometimes changing the colors based on the song or the mood. There are times where I see the effectiveness of such production in terms of bringing people to communal worship, but there are also times in which I feel like I'm playing to spectators. I think, realistically, in our current church climate, the church should shoot for the former and correct with the latter. There are more fundamental issues at stake that need to be addressed.
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Unread 11-08-2014, 10:38 AM   #37
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This is not much the same thing as with the light thing. But, one time in a church I used to go to, We had installed an automatic air freshener in the sanctuary because there was a problem with the build that was old and smelled of mold. The fragrance was a flowery one. We were having special services with a guest from Ohio who had a team with her and as their usual thing would pray in the sanctuary before the service would start. They asked later if we had smelled an unusual fragrace while praying. lol they thought it was an intervention of the Holy Spirit coming into the building. This continued with others asking about it. Anyway, we were able to take care of the mold situation for a while but because the the building was so old it couldn't be removed so easily. Talk about distraction.
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