Bringing the Text to Life
Discussions about church architecture are not usually among the everyday topics consuming a congregation's attention. When it does come up, it is probably during some new building or renovation project where the focus is on the location of plumbing and power lines or the new seating capacity. Few people spend much time anguishing over the theological message their architectural design sends out.
But 'twas was not always so. Throughout church history the design of a sanctuary often revealed as much about its congregation's theology as the hymns and sermons voiced within it.
One common feature in many of our churches is the split podiums placed at the front of the sanctuary. The traditionally smaller, less ornate or lower podium is referred to as the "lectern." From it, lay people, worship leaders and guests give announcements, pray, sing solos and read portions of Scripture other than Gospel texts.
The other podium, the pulpit, is reserved for those words that shaped the heart of...