Convo Worship Production: Let’s create an atmosphere focused on one thing

Convocation is the largest weekly gathering of Christian young people in the world. I think we have all been blessed in some capacity by this staple of Liberty University student life. Unfortunately, Convocation is not as accessible as one might imagine. 

Liberty has always done its best to create an enriching and entertaining experience for students during Convocation. I remember certain days when the speaker was impactful or the song was just right. I truly appreciate all the hours of work that go into designing an event like Convocation and the concern that the staff at Liberty has for the students.

With all of that in mind, something must be changed about this event – the lights and the volume. My Resident Shepherd friend has directly helped with and heard reports of people who have passed out or had a seizure during worship. I’ve seen firsthand multiple people in the crowd who wear sunglasses and noise-canceling headphones to be able to make it through the event.

Convocation is photographed in the Vines Center with Speaker Megan Fate Marshman on November 4, 2022. (Photo by KJ Jugar)

This is not an environment that is conducive to worship. While I understand not all of us deal with being overstimulated, many of our brothers and sisters are not able to worship because of the uncomfortably high
decibel levels. 

As a student body, many of us have differing views on what worship should look like in general. I am not advocating for the style or content of Convocation to change. I am simply suggesting minor adjustments to increase the comfort of those attending. 

I implore the LU Stages production team to invest some time figuring out how we can work together to make Convocation a welcoming environment to all. If this is not achieved, we run the risk of turning students away from the rich messages that are heard from the Vines Center stage. 

Being flashed in the eyes by bright stage lights is challenging for anyone trying to posture their heart for worship. We know the enemy already works overtime to distract us from spending time worshiping the Lord. Should the presentation of the worship in Convocation be placed above the students’ hearts we are trying to reach?

Jessica Long speaks at Convocation in the Vines Center November 9, 2022. (Photo by Natalie Olson).

Let me stress the point that I truly appreciate every single person who puts effort into Convocation each week. I know that I am so blessed to be able to attend such an encouraging gathering of fellow believers where we can be in fellowship with one another and learn from brilliant speakers. Above all, I love taking time out of my week to worship my heavenly Father. 

As a senior at Liberty, I have had many wonderful experiences at Convocation. I long for solutions to be found for everyone. I long for my friends who struggle with overstimulation to enjoy the blessing of Convocation in the same way that I do. Let’s create an atmosphere focused on one thing: worshiping our King.

Van Horn is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion

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