Many churches ask the question: "How do we manage lights? Sound? Fog machines?" Due to a lack of education and guidelines, I have seen many churches that do not employ these tools. When used properly, these additions can help enhance worship services, and bring worshipers to a different place.
LIGHTING & VISUEL
This resource serves as a great starting point for designing your lighting and set scheme. It presents various setups, but also discusses seminal theological questions that arise with the use of technology. This video is useful because it is honest, acknowledging that with the employment of technology comes potential destruction. It is open, engaging, and practical.
Rambusch and Rambusch, as owners of a premiere lighting company, present highly technical solutions and histories of lighting problems. I would recommend this article only to a church with a substantial budget. Churches that do not have financial stability will only be discouraged by solutions that do not apply to them.
From my understanding, our concern about lighting and high-techiness is due to fear. We do not want to lose the focus. As the old adage says, 'we want to keep the main thing, the main thing'. The following article finely addresses these issues. I would also like to say that as a writer, and visionary, I can understand how lights affect that moods during worship. If we do a song about the love, and forgiveness of God, our minds are socially conditioned to think of love in terms of the color red. I could present a number of resources that explore this theme. Yet the discourse here is far more low-stakes in nature. I would also suggest that red is culturally related to Hell. I believe it would be more beneficial to incorporate some purples to break the color up, and warm the environment visually.
We still have an eerie sense of other worldliness, but it's something that we want the congregants to feel. The blending of blue and red adds a warmth that makes God 'recognizable'. In essence, through our color choices, we can turn the hearts of the people toward the God of the Bible. We are not mimicking God. We are not imitating anything, but rather using these things as sign-posts in order that the people might remember the living God.
This video is an example of not using lights commensurately. This clip is from the Bethel Church in Redding, California. As 'of great renown' as they are for their worship, the lighting in this particular song does not reflect the love of God as we culturally know it. Some might argue that they employed yellow to represent sunshine, but I believe that a purple-red combination would have better served the language of the song.
SOUND & AUDIO
Both of these interviews are useful in that they document the process of installing audiovisual 'gear'. These resources are helpful for smaller congregations. It is important to note that we can always read information from particular articles and scale back the recommendations according to our particular needs.