A lot of churches are beginning to embrace the idea that a church platform can be visually engaging, enhance the room and message, and be a creative way to communicate with those who come through their doors. We started toying around with the idea about 2 years ago and have seen the wonderful results from taking the time and energy to create spaces like this. We’ve had simple 3D paper mache letters on the front of our platform, a 16′ fishing boat, caution tape, giant LED light boxes and more (I mean obviously we’ve used Coroplast…). We started small and continued to recycle what we could to created bigger elements. Church Stage Design Ideas was a great place for us to get ideas and has great articles on this same topic – I highly encourage you to check them out.
Here are what I think are 5 great reasons to consider playing with the look of your stage.
1. It creates a visual environment. We all know culture is becoming more and more visual and while the Church shouldn’t always just give in to where culture is going and how it consumes, this is an area that the Church has been part of for most all of it’s history. From stained glass windows, to cross shaped basilicas, to ornate decor on and around the stage and more, the church has seen a reason to create places that can transport someone to another world, or enhance the story they are telling with stunning visuals. We are doing this more and more and the Visual Worship movement is spreading like wildfire. The stage can be one of those elements, and I would argue should be.
2. It creates memorable ideas. Sometimes creating a design around a sermon series can help someone recall or remember things from that series that they may have not otherwise. Like I said earlier we had a 16′ fishing boat on stage for about a 6 week period. People still remember that ugly green boat but most of all they remember what they took away from that series because they remember that boat. We ask them about other ideas from other sermon series and it’s harder to recall for them. It’s a Mnemonic device really.
3. It’s a great place for people to serve and volunteer. Think about the opportunity for those who like to work with their hands and like to build things, your creatives and designers who visualize things, and even those who don’t just want t place to serve. The church should always be looking for ways to involve people in the church and finding ways they can serve.
3 Reasons to not consider stage design
1. It’s more about the creativity and design than about pointing people to Jesus. I have fallen in this trap many times. Sometimes is more about being cool than anything else. Thats a great reason to stop or pause or not do it at all. No matter how cool your stage is or how awesome things look let’s not forget the main reason we gather; to share the love and Grace of a great big God. I’ve seen more ministry done on ugly stages than really pretty ones at times.
2. Your tradition and current environment is a extremely valued asset. Not every church needs to play with the look of the stage. Some badly need to do so… (yeah burnt orange 70’s shag carpet stage… I’m talking to you). But some places find comfort and importance in their “look” be it traditional or not. It’s always important to think of what you are trying to communicate and how you are doing so. That may lead to a realization that adding some Coroplast towers may take away from the ambiance that already exists. Be smart, don’t do it just to do it, do it for a reason… one that you have poured over in prayer.
3. You’re doing it to be cool. The church will never be as cool as MTV. The church will never be cool no matter how hard we try. That’s ok by me (some churches are cooler than others however… #JustSaying). Like I mentioned above if you are doing it just to do it then you’ve missed something. Actually all 3 of the “don’ts” could be summed but by saying, make sure you pray through the why.
Bonus: 4. Because you already have a bunch of ficus trees on stage. Why would anyone ever think of changing that!!! Who would ever want to remove a ficus tree!!!