Archives For Worship

70 Creative Church Set Designs

Craig Van Korlaar —  July 23, 2013

Creative Church Stage Designs List

We’ve updated our list of creative church set designs, which includes:

  • 9 new stages for 2013
  • 10 new stages for 2012
  • 1 new stage for 2011
  • 1 new stage for 2010
  • 1 new stage for 2009

Church set designs are becoming increasingly popular with the rise of creative sermons and multi-sensory worship experiences.

Environment can have a remarkable influence over how people feel, behave, and learn. So while nothing replaces the power of preaching the gospel and God’s Word, a creative church set design can help make a sermon more memorable and create an atmosphere that is more worshipful, reflective, and in awe of God.

View the list of creative church stage designs.

How to Build a Creative Arts Culture

Kent Shaffer —  March 9, 2012

Taylor Barriger, Whitney George, & Pace Hartfield at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference 2012, Taylor Barriger of Camino de Vida (Lima, Peru), Whitney George of Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK), and Pace Hartfield of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) discussed how to build a creative arts culture.

Re: Struggles with Multi-Site
Pace: Each campus is resourced differently. The main campus has more lights and action compared to other campuses. But what we try to create are environments that fit each campus.

Re: Excellence on Budget Issues
Taylor: Creativity thrives on limitations. I love Bobby Gruenewald’s quote that “Media is a money hole. You have all you need today to do what you need to do.” So we have kids run our cameras sometimes because they are the most skilled at it. So we took on a mindset of “No limitations.”

Re: Is your band paid staff?
Taylor: No, because we don’t have the budget, and it wasn’t a possibility. We’ve grown our talent. Good musicians are attracted to good music.
Pace: No, our musicians aren’t paid anymore, but they were 3 years ago. We transitioned because no other volunteer was paid.
Whit: We no longer pay our musicians either. We realized it was an honor to serve, and we didn’t want a culture where people expected money every time they served.

Re: How do you get people to be excited about what you do?
Whit: The people’s excitement level will never exceed that of the leader. The people in the audience will never be more excited than the people on the stage.

Re: How do you stay creative with an older creative pastor?
Whit: Your pastor doesn’t necessarily limit your creativity. He may just shift and direct your creativity to look a different way. Creativity doesn’t have to be lights and stage design.
Pace: If you are getting kick back from your pastor, try giving him 3 options instead of one.
Taylor: Sometimes older pastors might not know what is possible, so constantly share what is possible with them.

Re: What if you pastor has a buffet mentality but expects gourmet creativity results?
Whit: Sometimes pastors don’t know how much time and effort it takes to pull things off.
Pace: On the rare occasions when you do have more time, show the pastor what can be done.
Taylor: The leader of the creative team must fight to create buffer between the pastor and the designers.

Special thanks to Skylark Audio Video for covering my travel expenses so that I can live blog the conference for you. They love churches and are currently offering free AVL consulting.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

Skylark Audio Video is cleaning out their warehouse and offering some great deals on church audio, video, and lighting equipment.

The sale only lasts 48 hours (through December 29th) and while supplies last, so be quick to call 888-365-7770 or email to get the special deals on this gear.

Year End Sale Special Deals

Aviom A-16II Personal Mixer
only $500

Aviom 16/o-Y1 A-Net Card for Yamaha Consoles
only $700

Aviom AN-16/o v.4 16-Channel Output Module
only $900

Sennheiser EW300 Series Wireless Microphone System
only $800

Sennheiser EW300 Series Wireless In-Ear Monitor System
only $800

Chauvet LED Par56 56-24B Lighting Fixture
only $150

Chauvet LED COLORado Batten 72 TOUR Lighting Fixture
only $700

Chauvet LED COLORado 2 Lighting Fixture
only $950

Skylark – Church Audio Video & Lighting Systems

Kent Shaffer —  December 20, 2011

Skylark Audio Video

Over the past year, I have taken on side projects to help fund Open Church. A few months ago, I was given the providential opportunity to join the team at Skylark Audio Video to lead their rebranding and ongoing communications.

Formerly known as AVi Worship, Skylark Audio Video was founded in 2005 by recognizing churches’ need for more attentive care and financially responsible audio, video, and lighting systems without compromising high-end performance.

Although young, Skylark is one of the few church audio video companies that (Edmond, OK) chooses to work with. While popular among multi-site churches, Skylark also helps church plants take their first steps and 100-year-old landmarks overhaul their church audio while still preserving their historic character.

Skylark Audio Video at Oklahoma Baptist University


What I appreciate most about Skylark is their emphasis on high performance, frugality, relationships, and the client’s best interests.

  1. High Performance Technology
    If you are going to get a church audio, video, and lighting system, you need an AV company that stays current, knows their stuff, and can turn all the talk into reality. While you should never base your decision solely on an AV company’s technical prowess, you should never choose one that lacks it.
  2. Frugality
    This is where Skylark really stands out. Some churches think they need the most expensive equipment or to build everything now for the future. What they don’t realize is they can almost always slash their expenses without sacrificing tech quality by choosing more reasonably priced gear and designing the church AV system for scalability and add-ons when needed. The opposite is also true. Penny-pinching to the extreme costs more in the long-run because cutting-corners leaves you with gear that can’t perform until you upgrade. Skylark gives each church advice on where to spend and where to save in order to meet their goals.
  3. Relationships
    Skylark regards their clients as friends and family. We work to understand how your church operates and then customize their approach to mesh with your team. The goal is to create less work for you and your organization. When the focus is on relationships and not a business bottom line, it is much easier to ensure each church is happy, taken care of, and using Skylark for years to come.
  4. Your Best Interests
    Making your best interests Skylark’s top focus doesn’t make sense to some businessmen. It means spending more time. It can mean sacrificing some paycheck to get you the best solution (not the priciest one). But Skylark does audio, video, and lighting because they love it, and they learned quickly that focusing on your best interests is Skylark’s best interests because it keeps clients coming back, and it helps the cause of Christ.

Before I joined the team at Skylark, Marcus Walker (the founder) and I had several conversations to determine if we were a mutually good fit. I asked, “What values unify your team and drive their performance?” And I love his answer.

We don’t say what are values are. They just are. What unifies us is the constant pursuit to be better than we were on the last job. The quest to learn more and do things better unifies us. We love our job. We are doing what we love and getting paid for it, and it actually means something.


One of the ways Skylark serves churches is by offering free audio, video, and lighting consulting. No strings attached. You need a church AV system that meets your goals, fits within your budget, and works for your facility. We would love to start a conversation to identify what is the best solution for you.

Call 888-365-7770 to get started.

Twitter’s Popular Hashtags for Ministry and Churches

Kent Shaffer —  July 22, 2011

As Twitter has risen in popularity, so has its use among ministers to discuss ministry ideas, dogmas, and methodologies. Each ministry niche centers around a Twitter hashtag.

By definition, a hashtag is when the # symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

But before you can join in the discussion, you first need to figure out what are Twitter’s popular hashtags for ministry and churches. Here are some common ministry hashtags:

Children’s Ministry: #cmconnect // #kidmin

RT @jeffmcclung: Ministry doesn’t just happen in a office. It happens where people are. #kidmin #fammin #stumin #cmconnect

It all goes back to teaching the Word in a way that children can grasp & start being doers of the Word now. – @jimwideman #theClub #kidmin

Church: #church // #churches

Ministry Dream Team Attributes: Character (who we are), Knowledge (what we know), & Skills (what a person is able to do). #Church #Ministry

In the USA, there are approximately 400,000 #churches and 6,000 first-run theaters. Which do you think affects our #culture more?

College Ministry: #collegemin // #umin

#collegemin RT @chronicle Community college students who take online courses more likely to drop out new study finds

It’s earning season in the business world. What would your earnings look like in ministry? #thinkorange #stumin #umin

Creative Arts: #churchmedia // #crtvmin

FREE colorful background loops at #worshiploopwednesday #churchmedia

Don’t make announcements, tell stories. Very few respond to announcements but stories connect with everyone. #crtvmin

Family Ministry: #fammin

The more designer our lives, the more generic our kids seem to be!! #kidmin #stumin #fammin

Ministry: #ministry

“A life of prayer is the connective tissue between holy day proclamation and weekday discipleship.” – Eugene Peterson on #ministry #fb

Missions: #missions

Hands-on missions projects for children. Click link for a list of missionaries & their wish lists. #kidmin #missions

Pastoral: #pastor // #pastors

#PASTOR you spend so much time encouraging ur flock & destroy urself in the office thinking “how bad u did”… Get free of that devil!

Unless #God moves in my heart, He will never get the best of my time, talent, and wallet. And I’ll never get the best of Him. #Pastors

Special Needs Ministry: #spnmin

Celebrate when your church ministers to families affected by disability but don’t turn them into mascot stories #SpNMin #kidmin

Technology: #churchtech // #citrt

Government shutting down hundreds of data centers via @cnet #churchtech #citrt #digitaldisciples

Server rack temps much more even after rack relocation & we’ve added no cooling into the space #citrt

Worship: #worship // #sundaysetlist

Abba doesn’t care about sound systems, lighting, or instruments. He cares about your heart. #worship #fb

I get to lead tmrw. Lord reign in me, We are Saved (new), Lord I give u my heart, Joy will come #Sundaysetlist

Youth Ministry: #stumin // #uthmin // #youthmin // #youthministry

“Average” should never describe your ministry or what happens in it. #stumin #aylacog #ayla11

“Quick to listen. Slow to speak.” (James 1:19). How would this verse applied change #uthmin? Please wade in! #stumin #uthdoingmin

Parenting tip #46: Encourage compassion over competition, especially between siblings. #parenting #kidmin #youthmin #familymin

Realizing more and more how we model the kind of people our children and students will become #youthministry

What ministry hashtags do you use that aren’t mentioned?

How to Build & Lead a Creative Arts Team

Kent Shaffer —  March 4, 2011

Whitney George at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference, Whitney George of Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK), Pace Hartfield of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX), and Marty Taylor of Northland, A Church Distributed (Orlando, FL) gave a behind the scenes discussion of how they lead their creative arts teams.

WG: It is not so much about what you do as who you are. What are the personalities like that make up your creative team? Those personalities will shape your art.

MT: Each week, we focus on some specific attribute of God and we connect that attribute to some type of call & response for the church to act on that week.

MT: We don’t ever buy anything just because it’s cool. We buy something because it will help the message.

WG: You don’t do all the lights for the sake of lights. You do it to create environments for worship. God did the same for us when He created a beautiful environment for us to worship in.

PH: And sometimes creating the environment means turning the technology off. Sometimes that is most powerful.

WG: It is about using it in the right way. You always want to keep at the heart of what you are doing, “What am I trying to say?”

WG: When we opened our new auditorium, we asked, “What is the appropriate response?” We thought up a lot of crazy ideas but decided that the appropriate response to launching a new auditorium is worship.

MT: We find out 6 weeks out what a weekend will be and start planning.

PH: We plan 10 weeks to a week out, and sometimes start planning 6 months in advance. We start with whomever will be teaching. Ed Young Jr. will do a mind dump and journaling, and the create planning team will read it all. Then we meet as a group to talk it out. We leave more on the cutting room floor then in the final sermon.

PH: To as best you can, match the leadership style of your pastor. When your pastor feels that support, he will trust you more.

WG: I have to remember that God didn’t call me to run Church on the Move. He called me to serve Church on the Move. You have to make sure that mindset is aligned if you want to be creative.

WG: One of the main things about collaboration is that when start going up, you will see the fruits of that, the disjointedness, showing up on stage. The tech guys and the media guys and the worship guys need to be able to speak into the lives and process of everyone around them.

WG: During rehearsals, we have someone always watching it who is not doing it. That kind of feedback in the time you are putting it together is critical to a great worship environment.

PH: We always have to keep one hand free to adjust for what God wants. You have to be careful to never spiritualize your laziness. Don’t do things on the fly. God is in the details.

MT: I think the approach is greatly affected by how you view the video and the lighting and everything. If you look at the lighting as just another tool, as another worship leader, then it helps to evaluate if it is working together.

WG: Stop thinking of worship as one thing and lighting as one thing and production guys as one thing. They are all one thing together. They are all communication.

WG: Honor and serve. Start honoring the sound man. He is as much of the process as the person on stage. Serving them means respecting their process and putting yourself in their shoes. That relationship is essential.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

Practical Ministry. Creative Ministry.

Kent Shaffer —  March 2, 2011

Tonight I am driving to Tulsa, OK to live blog Church on the Move’s Seeds Conference over the next few days.

Church on the Move originally earned a reputation for practical yet creative children’s ministry then did the same in youth ministry and now is turning a lot of heads with their creative arts department.

To get an idea of the type of transformation that Church on the Move has undergone, look at the stark contrast between their worship services in 2002 versus today.


Church on the Move 2002

Church on the Move 2002

Watch a video of Church on the Move in 2002.

CHURCH ON THE MOVE in 2010/2011

CWF 2010 :: The Story of Christmas + The Father’s Heart + O Holy Night

IWANM – The Wedding

CWF 2010 :: The Grinch + Thriller

KOTM Live!

CWF 2010 :: Drummer Boy + Deck The Halls + The Grinch + Thriller

To learn about the principles and practical how-to’s behind Church on the Move’s approach to ministry, stay tuned for my live blogging notes from the Seeds Conference over the next few days.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

Free Church Resources by Church on the Move

Kent Shaffer —  June 27, 2010

Like free church resources? Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK) is now offering free creative resources to download from their new site, Seeds.

The church resources include artwork, motion graphics, background music, promo videos, opener videos, mini-movies, drama scripts, slides, banners, worship guides, sermon series kits, and more. There’s something for kid’s ministry, student ministry, and plenty for regular worship services, too!

Best of all, the production quality is outstanding. Church on the Move has been winning ADDY Awards and producing mainstream quality content for years. Now you can have that same quality for free! Samples include:


Please Turn Off Your Phone – Slide

Free Church Resources

Communion Instructions – Slide

Free Church Resources

FREE VIDEOS (RSS readers must visit post to see videos)

Dad Life – Father’s Day Video

Why Worry – Drama Skit

Mommy Rhapsody – Mother’s Day Performance

FREE SERMON SERIES (RSS readers must visit post to see videos)

This or That – Student Ministries Sermon Series Artwork

Free Sermon Series

I Love My Bible – Kidmin Sermon Series Artwork

Free Sermon Series

To start downloading free church resources, visit

Related Reading:
Free Church Graphics and Resources Toolbox