Decorating and designing stage sets for church sanctuaries can be a daunting task. Let’s look at a brief calendar of the church year. Traditional Christmas services are followed by volunteer holidays and a New Year celebration. There may be a Super Bowl Sunday and then a candlelit Maundy Thursday followed quickly by an Easter sunrise celebration. You’ve got weddings, funerals, baptisms, baby dedications, and on and on. And most importantly, you’ve got the “normal” weekly church services and sermon series to keep you busy. Even the best decorating committees have trouble keeping the pace. So how can you make it all work?

Visually, the biggest impact you can make on your church is to change the backdrop of the stage. It is the one place that people will see for the entire hour they are in the service. Now, think outside the box for a moment. If you take that whole area and make it a video screen, it will create lots of new opportunities. Although this requires a large initial investment in technology, many churches are finding that the payoff is worth the cash.

Using a large video screen as the backdrop to your stage presents many possibilities that can help your church and its staff. Change the image, and you can change the mood of the room. Now match the feel and coloring of the image to the music or preaching, set appropriate lighting, and you can create the emotional impact that will support the pastor’s message. The great thing about images is that they are quicker, easier, and cheaper than physical stage sets and backdrops.

You can use “low key” traditional images or wild moving images, whatever fits your church’s style. A wide variety of still and moving images are available online in low cost image libraries (,, so you can find one that will fit the event. Put the images into your display software (MediaShout, EasyWorship, PowerPoint, etc.) and you are ready to go. Images can even be changed during the services as needed.

It’s a good idea to build up a collection of images so that you will have just the right one when you need it. Planning ahead for your new video set designs will decrease your stress, as you no longer have to rush around changing backdrops and stage sets between services.

Acoustics By Design works on video system design for churches of all sizes. We develop systems that enable creativity and flexibility for church tech directors and volunteers alike.

ABD Engineering and Design

ABD Engineering and Design is one of North America’s leading independent acoustical consulting and AV design firms, serving clients across the United States and Canada, as well as other international markets from offices in Grand Rapids, MI and Portland, OR. Our specialized acoustical engineering and AV design practices help architects, building owners, engineers, facility directors, and municipalities design spaces, environments, and systems for optimal acoustical and audiovisual performance. Our consulting practice areas specialize in all aspects of architectural acoustics, environmental and industrial noise and vibration control, and audiovisual systems design.

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