The Rise of Environmental Projection in Houses of Worship

Tips from the pros to dramatically and continually transform the look of your sanctuary through the growing trend of environmental projection.

The Rise of Environmental Projection in Houses of Worship

Check out the slide show of 20 scenes

A growing number of churches are using projectors to transform the interior appearance of their sanctuaries.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Cameron Ware/Visual Worshiper
The Rise of Environmental Projection in Houses of Worship

Check out the slide show of 20 scenes

A growing number of churches are using projectors to transform the interior appearance of their sanctuaries.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Cameron Ware/Visual Worshiper

Photos & Slideshow

The Rise of Environmental Projection in Houses of Worship

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The idea was simple enough that it makes you wonder how nobody stumbled upon it earlier, and it really begins with a question: How do you spice up church services and sermons in a way that enhances the message and captures the hearts of parishioners – and particularly the wandering minds of younger members – without detracting from the Word of God?

For Camron Ware, the answer came when a light bulb turned on in his head. Actually, make that a few specifically directed bulbs.

Ware began his life in church lighting design as a volunteer at age 15, and before long he was in charge of the whole operation at Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas. As his passion grew, he was no longer satisfied with changing thematic lighting and running simple PowerPoint presentations – he wanted to incorporate imagery inside of the church much like it used to be done with stained glass and mosaics and so on. He brainstormed ways to liven up the building’s big white walls but ultimately determined that traditional lighting design solutions would be much too expensive.

Then he had a thought: Maybe projectors could do the trick.

Enhancing the Word

Fast forward two years and Ware has started his own lighting company, Visual Worshiper, which he built upon the pioneering technique of environmental projection that he created working for Irving Bible Church.

The premise is simple: use projectors to cover otherwise blank walls of a worship space with oversized images, transforming the space to make it feel like a completely different world. These can be images of faraway places – a snowy field, an ancient cathedral – or it can be lighting and more vague imagery.

Environmental Projection from Visual Worshiper on Vimeo.

“Environmental projection envelopes the congregations; it owns the space,” says Ware. “Philosophically it’s not even supposed to be watched, it’s not even supposed to be seen.”

It has been used in other environments, but in churches the intention is to enhance the worship atmosphere. Environmental projection “changes walls from dead boring white to be transformed into an engaging canvas so we can tell the story of God on it,” says Luke McElroy of TripleWide Media, a content provider for large format projection systems.


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If we choose our portable systems wisely, we can turn these quick setups, that can sometimes be distracting, into an atmosphere that will engage the audience.


Article Topics

Media · News · Projects · Technology · Audio · Video · Lighting · Visual Arts · Environmental Projection · AV · Environmental Projection · Lighting · Mount · Projector · Video · All Topics

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