Blog | Four Tips for Elevating Production Quality Right Now
Four Tips for Elevating Production Quality Right Now
When it comes to tightening up production quality on Sundays, a few tweaks can go a long way. Often, it’s not about adding more, but about making sure that what you already have is clean, consistent, and ready to go come the weekend.
Here are four tips you can apply right now to tighten up your production quality week after week:
Slide to the Right
For most small to mid-sized churches, slides and graphics are a key player for setting the atmosphere. Slides not only deliver information— lyrics, speaking points, scripture— but also bring color and animation into your meeting space. To make the most of your slides, you want to make sure they are clear and consistent.
Clear means readable. Are you using fonts that are large and bold enough to be seen from the nosebleeds? Are you using colors that stand out prominently from whatever background you’re using? Less is more, so avoid cramming too much text onto one slide.
When we think about consistency, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep your fonts the same song to song, and sermon slide to sermon slide. If the artsy side of you is itching for more variety, then you want to switch up background colors for each song, and swap out fonts with each new sermon series. Also, think about the colors you’re using as backgrounds and have your lights match up with those colors to help create a cohesive display.
Slide templates also help with consistency and efficiency.
Clear the Stages
Quality production isn’t always about adding things. The most important thing you can do — that anyone can do — is make sure all the elements you’re currently using are clean and polished.
A small step that makes a big difference is keeping the stage tidy. Clean the stage between Sundays. Give it a little sweep, and perhaps a quarterly deep clean. Take a little extra time when you run lines for the worship team, keeping them neat, out of the way, and taped down with care. The stage is an altar space, where we encounter God’s presence.
When the stage is clean and organized, it eliminates distractions for those both on and off the stage and minimizes any dangers that might arise from tripping on lines or bumping into something that doesn’t need to be there. Continual maintenance also helps streamline your process week to week, keeps you efficient, and will save you time in the long run.
Gang’s All Here
Preparation and communication are key to a polished Sunday production. Consider having your production team at weekly band rehearsals. Have them practice running the slides for each song as the band practices, familiarizing themselves with the songs and their cues. This way, if you workshop song order, decide to add an extra bridge, etc. your production team is up to speed and can be savvy to any changes well before Sunday morning.
Schedule Your Media
Make it a habit to have all your media elements — slides, countdowns, lighting cues, etc. — all set and communicated with the appropriate teams well before Sunday. A great way to establish this habit is to prepare and solidify all media needs with the Worship Pastor as they schedule the music sets. The better you can make and communicate production needs and decisions in advance of the Sunday in question, the more polished and stress-free the service will be. Also, as just a general guideline, try not to test out new things for the first time the morning-of. If you’re introducing new media, playing around with service order, or airing a new video, make sure it goes smoothly during a rehearsal or two before launching on Sunday.
You don’t have to invest in complex stage re-designs or wire in all new lighting to up your production quality. Preparing all your cues and elements in advance, keeping your spaces clean, and coordinating aesthetic elements to be clear and cohesive can go a long way for elevating the experience of both your teams and the congregation.
About the Author
Emma Tarp is a writer and worship leader based in Minneapolis, MN. On her best days, she's highlighter-deep in a good book or teaching herself to sew. On her other best days, she's helping passionate folks and inspired businesses put words to their work. Find out more at emmatarp.com.