Honestly, there are times when I arrive early at church, get some music playing and simply enjoy setting up the stage. Routine, yes. Exciting, no. But, enjoyable nonetheless.
Some of my speed comes from years of experience and some of it comes from knowing how I can set it up in the least amount of time necessary.
Want to set the stage as quickly and accurately and safely as possible? Let’s press on…
1. Know who’s playing in the band
Sure, this sounds simple, but if you’ve ever had a time when you set the stage only to find out that one or two people weren’t performing, you’ll know what I mean.
What to do: Get the band list in advance. Just because the band usually has five people doesn’t mean that next week all five will be playing.
As far as “morning of” type of notifications, ask the worship leader to text you any lineup changes as soon as possible. Of course, if you’re not a texting guy, a phone call will work just the same.
2. Plan ahead for space issues
I’ve jokingly hummed the music you hear at a three-ring circus when the pastor handed me an “updated schedule.”
In the case of stages with limited wiggle-room, free space is a commodity. Whether it’s an added instrument or a sermon prop, it’s an added dimension to managing the stage.
What to do: Get the service schedule well in advance. If you often find the church service to feel more like a three-ring circus, considering running that by the pastor. Sometimes, they just need another person’s perspective.
Also, in the case of last-minute-changes, see a prop (even a large plant) can be brought on stage when needed and then removed when you need to reclaim the space.
3. Label cords for length
Using the shortest cords helps stage clutter and keeps the stage safe from added hazards. If you’ve ever seen someone trip on a cable, you know what I mean.
When you know the length of the cable you grab, you know where you can use it.
What to do: Colored rubber bands on the end work great for this, as does colored tape. Basically, each color represents a known length. White electrical tape with the length written on the end can also work, it’s all up to you.