Easter 2015 :: Programming Elements

1378698_10205178967772160_3451833770561573721_nEvery year, we want to provide, in the best way possible, a great worship experience to thousands of people who come celebrate Easter with us on 2 campuses and also on the Online campus. During this year’s Easter celebration at Mount Pleasant Christian Church, we took visual worship to new levels. During the months of January and February, I spent some time with the Worship and Arts pastor working on elements and details for this special service.

Worship Center-Easter2015

Original stage design with projection panels forming an empty cross in the center.


Our facilities team built the cross used as projection display

By the end of February, I had the stage layout designed and ready to go to production. However, during a meeting with our senior pastor in March, we talked about new ideas. It is important to say that my pastor was ok with the first stage design, and he never asked for it to be changed. But as we discussed new ideas, I made the decision to change the design so we could provide a better worship experience. This change happened four weeks prior to Easter weekend, so I don’t consider this a last-minute change, but at that point we had to move fast and make arrangements to meet the deadline.

Basically, all programming elements together are a complement to the music and message, so it is important that these elements don’t cause  distraction to those participating


7,000 lumens projector with a long throw lenses (97′)

live and via broadcast. That needs to be the goal when using stage elements, lighting, and projection. Here is how we put these elements together for Easter services:

  • Large cross – we built a 16’x12’x3’ cross covered with seamless front/rear projection fabric from Rose Brand, to be used as a projection surface. Rented a 7,000 lumens projector from our longtime friends at Orange Thread Media (Nashville, TN).  For content delivery, we chose  ProVideoPlayer2 (by Renewed Vision)
  • Side crosses – two side crosses were made out of wood and back lit with LED strips
  • Lights – we already owned a good number of light instruments, but on special weekend services we rent some special lighting we don’t own (yet). We rented:
Screen shot of PVP2

Pro Video Player 2 – by Renewed Vision

  • Content – here is the most important piece of puzzle, because wrong content means all the technology we gather for this event was in vain. It is important to know that all content was specially selected and built for each song.

When it comes to programming, less is more (most of the time). During the song “Broken Vessels” (video below), you will notice that we used one single image throughout the entire song. This was a time when we wanted the focus to be one hundred percent artist and song delivery.

There are times when you will have the opportunity to extend to more than one image per song, but it is important for you to know when to use less to open all the space for the simplest ways you can use to deliver the message during a worship song.During baptisms, we projected videos of the confessions of faith on the large cross. These were the highlight of the weekend. The videos gave a face and a voice to those being baptized. My pastor has already mentioned to me that we will do this again, given the response we received.

If your church offers an online broadcast or a video venue, it is important to customize all content to those watching live so they also feel they are part of the service and get the most out of the worship experience. For instance, all baptism videos projected on the cross were reformatted for those watching on video. Also, the lyrics for every song were in the lower third of the viewing screen. Basically, all of the content showed live was adapted and displayed to meet the needs of worshippers participating online.

Next up… Patriotic weekend!

Few more pictures (by Chris Williams) from Easter weekend:

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3 years ago 1 Comment Views

Christmas begins in February..


For Programming and Worship & Arts ministries, Christmas begins a little early. This year at Mount Pleasant Christian Church, we will once again have great weekend celebrations and hopefully be inspired by the true message of Christmas.

For us, this conversation begins early in the year. This process begins with a lot of talk between our two ministries, our senior pastor, and few volunteers who help us design key elements for Christmas services.




Back in February, we had our first conference calls to talk about some of the elements and possible stage modifications. At that point we did not yet have a title or song selections, but this conversation was really important because it helped the worship pastor to identify what direction he would take on the song selections and who would sing them. For instance, at this point during our conversations early this year, we considered having the choir in a different formation onstage, separated in groups. As we progressed with our planning, we figured that it would be possible but not needed after the final design was done.



In June, we began to make final decisions on stage design and moved to planning the opening number animation and lighting design. This is a  process that involved a graphic designer, animation, and Orange Thread Media, who has had a great partnership with us for several years. They participate in the conversation as well, helping the planning and walking along us developing ideas and content for the services.

By mid-August, the song selections are at a point where we can begin developing some key animations and define what the service opening will look like, as well as make a final list of the lighting rentals needed for the weekend.

As rehearsals begin, things start to get in shape. New ideas may arrive, and that is ok. It is important to always be willing to adjust and change, but because we start planning so early, changes at this point are not that difficult to make, whereas if we were just planning the services now, we would not have time to adjust later.  If we start planning now, at this time of the year, we are running against the clock.

Volunteers play a huge role during planning and preparation, and planning ahead helps to coordinate and communicate with volunteers. Planning ahead helps to protect your volunteer’s time and encourages them to stay engaged.  Their involvement can result in great ideas during the process.

Between the programming team, band, choir, worship team, children’s choir and helpers, ushers, and greeters, Children’s ministry volunteers, and others, we will have over 400 volunteers serving during 6 services in one weekend.



For 2014, we have already begun the conversations and initial planning. New things are already put in motion for next year’s celebration.


So I hope you join us for this year’s special Christmas services. Volunteers and staff have worked really hard for months, just to make sure that when you are here with us, you can enter into a great time of worship and hear the great Christmas message delivered through music, technology, and a sermon from the Word of God.  And remember to bring family and friends to celebrate with us.


See you there!


Special Christmas Services:

Worship Center:

Friday, December 13 @ 7 PM

Saturday, December 14 @ 3:45 and 6 PM (ASL available at 6 PM service only)

Sunday, December 15 @ 8:45 and 10:45 AM


Video Venue (SMC):

Sunday, December 15 @ 10:45 AM

For more information visit

5 years ago 1 Comment Views


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