Yesterday I had the honor of worshipping in two different churches. Both of them are focused on reaching young adults. The two services were quite similar in nature. Both happened on college campuses. Students made up the majority of both congregations. Both churches had young pastors.
One of the services featured a portion of the service that was done by candlelight, since it had a Christmas emphasis. I noticed something remarkable when the lights were turned off in preparation for the candlelit portion of the service. The volume of the voices singing suddenly increased significantly.
Though students in both churches sang during the worship portion of the services, when the lights went off, they sang much more robustly. Perhaps the students felt more self-conscious when the lights were on, not wanting anyone to see them singing? If so, then clearly the darkness allowed them to express their musical passion more fully than they did when the lights were on. Perhaps all the other distractions in the room went away when the lights were out and they were simply able to focus more? Clearly something happened that allowed the students to focus more clearly in a dark room.
Though I do not want to read too much into one experience, perhaps this is something that we should think about in our churches. If a darker room with fewer distractions allows congregants to worship better, then we should consider lowering the lights and raising our voices to the King of Light.