On the surface, there’s physically not a lot of difference between many contemporary churches and a performing arts center. Sure, the purposes of the facilities are different, but the functionality is basically the same.
So while there are similarities, the differences are important enough that oftentimes hiring someone with skill and experience in designing and building houses for worship can make the difference between having a facility that helps to encourage the worship experience vs. a place that is merely a performance space where people “do church.”
Designer enlisted a diverse group of people to discuss this topic: Janet Bartlett, Business Administrator with 20+ years of production service at Hilltop Community Church, Richmond, Calif., and Pastor Nehemiah Rogers, newly appointed creative communications director of Hilltop Community Church—both are Creative Arts team leaders at Hilltop Community Church; Gregg Nelson is a senior Market Manager with the Wenger Corporation of Owatonna, MN; John Loufik, Senior applications engineer, Community Professional Loudspeakers; John Storyk, founding partner, Walters-Storyk Design Group, Highland, N.Y.; Tim Tracey, executive director of worship, Northland, A Church Distributed, Longwood, Fla.
DESIGNER: How is a church's worship space or auditorium stage similar to a performing arts venue? How is it different?
Read more: Stages for Worship