Guest blog by Madeleine Denison
Part of the I Live the Journey will involve re-configuring the Worship Center. Here’s an entry by almost 14 year-old Madeleine Denison about the purpose and best style for our new Worship Center.
The Worship Center at Journey acts as the heart of the church. It is where the adults convene for sermons, music and prayer and where other church related events occur. Although God promises to be present wherever believers are gathered, there can be an impact on worship according to how the room looks and feels.
Typically, a worship center has a stage where the pastor stands to give his message, and rows of chairs for people to sit and listen. However, in this day and age the design of the room is becoming increasingly crucial to the wellbeing of the congregation. The goal is for people to be able to enjoy the service without getting particularly distracted and/or uncomfortable. A simple area is necessary, with nothing too attention grabbing.
I don’t mean to say that worship centers should be bare and conservative. I only mean that they should be in every way directed towards God.
Personally, I would probably make the worship similar to the way that it is now — with a few changes such as a real ceiling, the sound control closer to the stage and the stage a little less elevated. I would want to have everything as seamless as possible. The people’s focus should always be on God, and even the tiniest of aspects, like the stage being too high or the seats too low, can interfere.
In the past, the most minor distraction caused people to have their attention averted during church. I remember experiences when a child would start crying, or the door backstage would be opened bringing in a lot of light.
More than that, I believe that churches should try their best to make their services simple. I have been in some churches where the main point of the service is advertisement instead of Jesus. This makes it complicated in some ways to be creative, because you don’t want to seem commercialized to anyone in the congregation. A certain selfless nature is essential to everything that the church produces, and this includes the Worship Center. I don’t mean to say that worship centers should be bare and conservative. I only mean that they should be in every way directed towards God. Paintings, poetry, creative backdrops… when they are able to give you inspiration towards our Heavenly Father, then the Worship Center is doing its job.
The main purpose of worship is to connect with your Creator. That’s why I would make the main Worship Center simple and serene, in a way that opens the door to a personal, spontaneous experience with God; the goal is to feel the presence of God through everything in the room. It should be true to form, pure and untouched by hands with selfish intentions. People should be able to walk into the Worship Center and be .
I feel that is what God wants us to do. To be with each other; to dwell in peace and in His presence. The Worship Center can make experiences between the people and God even more personal, taking people broken in every way, and transforming us in a way we never knew possible.
Madeleine Denison, Generations Ministry Worship at Journey Community Church.