Stage Design: Constantly Be On The Lookout for Inspiration

No set design ever brought anyone to faith, but great design can draw people into worship in a fresh way, where God can move in their lives.

Stage Design: Constantly Be On The Lookout for Inspiration
When making a decision behind a particular stage design, make sure to ask if it adds to one's vision for a weekend service and how it does that. If the answer is, “Because it looks great!” or “I want to be like the other church I saw online,” that’s a fine place to start. It, though, has to go deeper.

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Beyond all those, we serve a God who is a beautiful creator. God is deeply involved in his creation, even telling people specific dimensions, colors, materials and instructions to create things intended for worship.

God is interested in the details and obsessed with spaces used for worship.

When we use color, design elements and our creativity for the stage, we are participating in the same process. When we pursue excellence, we honor God and inspire people!

Be very intentional to think about how someone visiting or attending your church for their first week would perceive the design. No set design ever brought anyone to faith, but great design can draw people into worship in a fresh way, where God can move in their lives.

Set design can help people feel welcome, connect them to who you are as a church and engage their senses and imaginations!

Practically speaking here are some lessons we have learned through the years about set design!

• Use light and think about lighting as much as built pieces. Proper lighting can add so much to build moments, add focus and direct attention. Some of the best contrast can be between dark and light elements! Bad lighting equals bad stage design.
• Learn some simple things about color theory and how colors work together, including light temperatures and color blending. This makes it easier to get the same shared of color evenly across the stage.
• It has to look good from about 20 feet away! Up close you can hide imperfections, but make sure the people in the front seats can’t see it!
• Be safe with rigging and flying things. If you have questions - get professional help.
• Don’t forget the floor, ceiling and walls next to your stage.
• Make sure you work with the audio, video and worship teams and avoid any conflict over placement and workflow with cables, etc.
• If you have a large stage, your elements need to be large to translate. Think in terms of relative size from the audience perspective.
• Less can be more. One light and one element can speak volumes.
• Get help with any electrical or wiring necessary. Professionals know how to be safe and fast.
• Take a date night and browse the home improvement stores for inspiration!

Finally, set design can be so fun! Pray and be constantly on the lookout for inspiration and file away those ideas for those moments when you need them!

More About Brian Wilson
As the Group and Men's Pastor at Calvary Community Church in Sumner, Wash., Brian has has worked in church and parachurch ministry for almost 20 years, having served as a creative director and production pastor at the church in the past. He has been involved in all areas of church ministry and writes and speaks about excellence in church ministry and healthy church leadership.
Get in Touch:    More by Brian Wilson

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Worship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.

Article Topics

Visual Arts · Stage Design · Team Management · Budgeting · Leadership · Team Development · Color Theory · Communicate · Electrical Wiring · Inspiration · Lighting · Weekend Service · All Topics

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