In most technology-savvy churches, a great deal of time and effort goes into creating the visual presentations that the congregation sees on Sunday. The question is: how do we know when all that effort has been worth it? Is success based on receiving comments such as 'I love that video you showed today' or 'those were cool graphics' or 'that background went well with that song'?
The short answer is 'NO!' Success is achieved when what we do has helped the church reach one or more of its corporate goals. These are goals such as leading people into true worship of Father God, imparting spiritual (Biblical) truth in a way that it is received at the heart level, and seeing people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
There are two components that factor into our success: the positive elements we add to the service (meaning what we put on the screen) and the negative distractions that we are able to minimize. Obviously, defining success this way has implications for what we choose to put on the screen. We focus not on what necessarily looks the best, but rather what is the most effective; not on what has the highest 'phat' factor, but what images help to move the congregation into a deeper worship and understanding of God. This is not to say that we should not be concerned with the quality of what we are presenting (poor quality distracts), but rather that our concentration is on reaching our goals that gain ground for the kingdom of God.
We also want to minimize distractions that would take away from a person's focused worship or detract from what God was wanting to communicate through His Word. Distractions can take the form of unnecessary time delays, jarring appearances or disappearances of projected images, text that is hard to read, and motion of graphics that is beyond what is appropriate or helpful. Many of these can be avoided by taking the time to rehearse the presentation prior to the service and make any necessary adjustments.
We are part of a body that has a defined mission, and the bottom line is that we keep a kingdom focus, not a self-centered ('can't I do cool stuff') focus. Comments like:
'When that sunset came up behind the lyrics, I thought my heart was going to burst with worship'
'The guy in that video - that was my story, and I knew God was speaking to me that it was time'
are the kind that mean we are having true success. Be encouraged to pursue effectiveness in this important ministry to which God has called you.