We have a pretty traditional sanctuary set-up. In fact, if you've been in a few Wesleyan churches, chances are you've seen our sanctuary or something very similar. Whoever built these things in the 70's and 80's built a ton of them off a very similar plan.
There are a lot of windows which means there is a lot of natural light. We have some pro blinds, but they are not light-blocking.
Earlier this Spring, when we were planning our kickoff series "The Groove", we knew right away that we would need to black-out the sanctuary for the lighting to have any effect. We went to our 'sewing person extraordinaire' and she created black-outs for each window that are easily fastened with velcro whenever we want.
We used them last Sunday because of a lighting/scripture montage we were doing. The effect was excellent and only could have happened with the sanctuary black. Note: next time our ushers will have flashlights! Apologies to all who came a few minutes late and couldn't see a thing!
This Sunday, no black-out.
Next Sunday, black-out.
So, I'm curious about what your thoughts are on walking in to a dark sanctuary that is using a lot of lighting for effect? Does it take some getting used to? Does it affect your worship? How?
I've been in some 'black box' churches that are built for production, and I really enjoy it. It's easier for the production team to focus my attention (and thoughts) on the message they are proclaiming. I've been to Willow Creek, and it's got tons of natural light, even when they buzz down their very sweet window screens. (one window is probably larger than our sanctuary!)
Either way, the Groove is coming and it is going to be a spiritual blast with a purpose.