Modern Church Stage Design:
Church of the City
Published on: Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - 11:08am
Stage design and a room’s atmosphere are critical to creating a church’s desired environment. Both are intended to lead the congregation into a spirit of worship while providing comfort and intimacy for them to receive teaching in an optimal way.
What that means in practice differs from church to church. One church’s stage design might be drastically different from another’s. Or the discrepancies might be nuanced and difficult to notice.
Many of the “modern” churches popular throughout the U.S. might appear nearly identical at first glance, which makes sense considering they serve similar congregations with alike values and standards. But when you dive deeper, you find that each church has small, subtle differences that separate its stage design from others and that match the particular character of its mission and congregation.
Modern Stage Design and Church of the City
Church of the City is a modern church in Franklin, Tennessee. Formerly called “People’s Church,” it’s not a new church, but it’s certainly a modern one.
The bulk of Church of the City’s congregation grew up during the early 2000s when groups like Hillsong United, Passion, and Bethel Music gained popularity through high-production music and concert-style performances. Many of them experienced worship at a new level with this style, and it became an integral part of their Christian experience.
Because Church of the City sits just outside Nashville, many artists, performers, and people connected to the music industry attend, and there’s generally a familiarity with high production value. Consequently, much of the congregation is more comfortable worshipping in a concert-style environment.
To match their congregation, Church of the City runs house lighting at lower levels during worship, incorporates a lot of detail and technology, and pays significant attention to audio mixing. The congregation loves the dynamic worship environment while still valuing the teaching time as well.
Enhancing an Already Modern Church Stage Design
Church of the City already had a modern church stage design when they came to us with some ideas for change and improvement. They primarily wanted to expand their worship center’s seating capacity by adding a balcony in the main room. By doing so, however, they’d need to make significant additional changes to maintain the quality, flexibility, and control of their AVL systems within the new worship space.
Making the Changes
1. Lighting Infrastructure
Church of the City frequently changes its lighting design and layouts — a hallmark feature of modern church stage design. The church’s previous lighting infrastructure made it difficult for staff to switch up the lighting regularly, leaving them fatigued and frustrated.
During the renovation, we installed a new lighting distribution system, making it quicker and more convenient to change the lighting during worship and giving the staff more flexibility to create an engaging, contemporary worship experience for the congregation.
2. LED House Lights
When we upgraded the church’s lighting distribution system, we also updated the house lights. Because digital integration is a key aspect of modern church stage design, we replaced existing lights with LED lights and adjusted the color temperature to better suit both live and streaming or broadcast services.
This lighting upgrade ensured attendees watching at home had a similar experience to members attending the service in person.
3. LED Walls
Church of the City already had LED walls before their renovation project, but they decided to purchase additional, higher-quality LED panels from us for greater flexibility. Now they can rearrange their LED panels into all kinds of different configurations, which you can see on their website.
Sometimes they create one large, central backdrop. Other times, they’ll have three, four, or five unique walls running simultaneously. The ability to make quick and varied changes like this is a crucial component of modern church stage design.
4. Control Room
The biggest piece on the AVL side of Church of the City’s renovation was building a new control room to house all of their broadcast video control systems. The new control room helped the staff reshape their workflow, making it easier for them to monitor all AVL systems simultaneously.
5. Acoustic Treatments
Church of the City had struggled with significant acoustics issues, so one of the biggest priorities for this project was to improve them once and for all. We committed to addressing not only the new acoustic challenges introduced by adding a balcony, but also the pre-existing problems.
Now, Church of the City’s acoustics sound noticeably better than before the renovation, matching their desire to provide a high-quality worship experience.
6. AVL Systems
Though we did not significantly change the already modern church stage design, we did upgrade a significant amount of the church’s AVL technology.
To accommodate the addition of the balcony in the worship space, we altered Church of the City’s existing audio systems to create an audio experience that matched the new layout. We also upgraded the distribution of power and lighting control throughout the building to bring the church up to date with more current technology and enhance their systems’ stability and flexibility.
Major Challenges and Outcomes
As with any project, updating the AVL systems for Church of the City’s modern church stage design had its challenges.
Adding a balcony to the main worship center was an invasive process, and Church of the City continued to hold Sunday services in the building throughout the renovation. At the end of each week, we had to move furniture, equipment, and machinery to make the worship space functional for the congregation. While this proved to be a logistical challenge, Church of the City didn’t miss a single service during the project thanks to the hard work of the construction team and our team at CTS.
Another challenge was that Church of the City didn’t want to purchase new audio equipment. To stay on budget, they asked us to instead update their old equipment. It’s always a risk to add to existing audio, video, or lighting systems, which usually entails taking them apart and using their parts to rebuild the systems you need. However, we were able to use components from their existing audio system, which made the project more affordable.
Results: A Modern Church With Upgraded AVL Systems & Infrastructure for Greater Flexibility in Stage Design
Church of the City is enjoying the benefits of its renovated worship center. They now have more seating with the new balcony, a better-sounding room with the new acoustic treatment and upgraded audio system, and improved color continuity for live and virtual audiences with new lighting systems. They also have greater flexibility to change the stage for different services, events, or seasons, which is vital for modern church stage design.
If you’re interested in improved flexibility and upgraded systems that better match a modern church stage design, reach out to our team. We’d love to connect and learn more about your vision.