re:Vision - Putting 'Contemporary' Back Into the Worship Space


Putting 'Contemporary' Back Into the Worship Space

By Rev. Jeremy Lawson

Last Summer, Clayton First UMC had to come to grips with an ugly and unfortunate reality about our contemporary worship space: There was nothing contemporary about it.

Between the outdated video screens, the fluorescent lights glaring overhead, and the basketball goals that were a permanent reminder that we were worshiping in a gymnasium, to say that our Connections contemporary service was in desperate need of an update was an understatement.
But before we started the renovation, our Trustees team started with some research. We looked at and visited a variety of different churches around the North Georgia Annual Conference who have created excellent modern worship spaces.
For instance, after seeing their recent renovation pictures on Facebook, Barrow Community Church, inspired us to use sliding barn doors as unique window coverings to help us control the natural light in the worship space.
Churches like The Vine, Impact, and Sugarloaf UMC helped us rethink our stage design, lighting, and video technology.
Last fall we celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of our newly renovated contemporary worship space with a record 250 people in attendance. It was the culmination of countless hours of strategic planning, faithful prayer, and volunteer-led implementation.

Most of all, it marked the beginning of a new chapter in the life of our church that finally put the “contemporary” back in our contemporary service.

Rev. Jeremy Lawson is pastor of Clayton First UMC. Contact him at

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