20
Oct
10

In-Person isn’t “In-Person” Anymore

Listening to NPR commentary by Frank Deford this morning on the way to the office, I was struck by something interesting.  Deford was talking about the trend among professional sports fans to attend events.  His prophecy seems to indicate that HD TV, sports bars and the comfort of one’s own home with high-tech viewing will continue to keep fans at home and progressively empty stadiums of their paying customers.  Now I don’t know if this is the case or not, but I do know that colleges are increasingly opting for pay-per-view broadcasts of their games.  Is this perhaps just a way to recapture the loss of revenue for smaller crowds at the games?  I haven’t seen the statistics.

Deford reports, “Besides, everybody has access to huge, brilliant high-definition TV. A Nielsen survey has shown, in fact, that sports events are watched by 21 percent more viewers if they have HD. I’ve talked to folks who’ve been on the sidelines at the huge new Dallas Cowboys stadium, and, they say, people down there close to the field nevertheless choose to look away from the actual game and watch on the monster video screens above.”

We are a video-oriented society.  The question is, “How is this going to continue to impact our worship services?”  Video is already in most worship services of more progressive churches.  This is true for at least a Powerpoint presentation with song lyrics and sermon support.  Many have live video feeds to their screens…especially in large venues where the speaker is a significant distance from the remotest parts of the audience.  In those settings where live video is available, I find myself tending “to look away from the actual game and watch on the monster video screens above” even if I’m close enough to watch the actual speaker.

What’s the next step?  Will we begin to opt for watching at home from a live internet feed rather than actually attending a worship service, so we can be more comfortable?  How will this phenomenon impact our worship in the years to come?

I know these questions are hyperbolic, but there is fodder for thought here.  Certainly, a move toward remote video “participation” at home will reduce our interaction in community.  That is definitely something none of us would say is healthy.  I like video usage in a worship service and have felt my worship experience has been broadened by it.  I would recommend we continue to ask ourselves the best way to utilize it for enhancing worship and building community.

What do you think?  How has the use of video impacted your worship?  What are creative ways you would like to see its use expanded or changed in your setting?

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1 Response to “In-Person isn’t “In-Person” Anymore”


  1. October 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    It would be great to use video in worship services. I think video can be used in hard to reach areas of our community.


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