This week I will continue on my recent theme of church architecture and what it represents.
Take a look at the first two images, they are similar with some subtle differences (Disclaimer: these images come from a google image search for "church sanctuary", I have no personal knowledge of or axe to grind about any of these churches).
In this first image on the left, one can see several things. First, the central and dominating image is the stained glass window of the cross. Below that, in a central location is a table with a Bible and the sacramental elements. There are various Christian symbols throughout the sanctuary. This church has both a lectern (on the left) and a pulpit (on the right). The lectern used for scripture reading and the pulpit used for sermon delivery are pushed to the left and right, to the periphery of the sanctuary. This church wants to place the focus on the cross, the Bible, and the Lord's supper.
In the second image on the left, there are similarities and subtle differences. The Cross is still prominent, placed high and in the center. Also in the center is a table bearing a Bible. Instead of Christian symbols spread throughout, this church has electronic equipment. Finally, in the biggest but very subtle shift, the pulpit has been moved to the center. This church is communicating something entirely different to the congregation. The pulpit, and thus the preaching and the preacher are now central to worship. The presence of the electronic equipment is more of a sign that this church is in the process of trying to update their worship style, yet the architecture remains just as telling.