Worship is not about performance. In worship, we bring glory to God for what he has done—we are only a sign post directing others to Christ. So in talking about stage design, remember this important concept: every object and design must also direct the worshiper to Christ. The goal of stage design is to create an atmosphere of intimate reflection without distraction. The question then becomes, “How do I create a stage design that does that?”
Keys to organic stage design
1. Illuminate your stage with layered and low lighting
Use layered lighting to target different sections of the stage. There are four layers to consider: a general layer to primarily light the room, another layer to light the front of the stage, one or more specific layers to light focal points of the stage, and an ambient layer to give a consistent low light across the stage. If you can add color with canned filter lights or LEDs, use sunny yellows and deep reds to saturate the stage with warmth. Make sure to include lights from the floor to the ceiling. Remember that the key isn’t to have an extremely bright stage, but to have a well-layered and low-lit stage.
2. Create balance by using the whole stage
Eliminate distraction by balancing your stage. It doesn’t have to be symmetrical, only proportional (although symmetry is pleasing to the eye). Also understand that our eyes are drawn toward the center of a mass. If the center of mass is not where a person should look, then the congregation won’t focus where you want them to. Practically, this means that if you have your worship team stapled to one side of the stage, you have two options: spread your worship team across the stage, or increase the amount of tasteful items to the other side—either would balance it out.
3. Use emphasis to focus attention
Draw attention to the areas of the stage you want your community to focus on. There are simple ways to do this. From the second key, simply put a heavier weight to a section of the stage—if done intentionally this can work out to your advantage. From the first key, use light to emphasize key features of the stage—darken the area’s you don’t want to feature and illuminate the area’s you do.
3 DIY stage-design ideas
If your church is like 90% of other churches, you can’t swing $10,000 on the latest light technology or hiring a stage designer. The good news is there are many easy DIY projects that cost little to nothing, but can transform your setup.
1. Construct stage designs from PVC and fabric
PVC is relatively inexpensive, and any cheap fabric will do for this project. Simply make any shape you want, and wrap it with fabric.
2. Use pallets to layer your stage
Pallets are everywhere. It doesn’t matter if they’re new, old, broken, or in shambles—pallets can be used to create a very simple but elegant design.
3. Add old area rugs to your stage
Give your stage the intimate feel of a home by adding an area rug.
Check out these ideas and more on our Pinterest page. Do you have brilliant stage-design ideas? Take a photo, pin it, and tag us.
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