Set Change is an event that our team looks forward to every year. Our goal is to help set a specific mood and create an atmosphere pleasing to everyone. We want to be current and culturally relevant without being too flashy or distracting. This balance takes careful planning and vision.
Brainstorming is the first step to any dreaming phase. We are always looking for what’s currently inspiring us. All ideas are welcome and some ideas will be held onto for years before becoming a reality. We try to incorporate what we’re learning as a church into our design, such as our Scripture walls from our last set. We also take maintenance needs into consideration. After a few weeks of collecting ideas, we call the first meeting. We print out all of the ideas and go through them together, discussing what ideas seem strongest. This process goes on through several meetings over a few months’ time until we finally have a concept that we think will work for all of our campuses.
This is the stage where we start to figure out how to execute the set change. We ask questions such as, Who can we recruit to help build set pieces? How long will prep work take? How should we promote set change? How will this work for small and large campuses? All of these questions and more are what help us develop a plan to make set change run smoothly and efficiently.
After we answer these questions, we go to the calendar to see what dates work the best. Job positions are assigned to different people in Creative. We find a few carpenters who are willing to invest their time to help. We use SketchUpto create a 3D rendering of the new look on our stage. From there, we distribute the vision and ideas to extension campuses.
The production and environments teams work together in order to make sure the stage is ready for a complete makeover. Production deals with the electronic aspects, such as lighting, while the Environments produces a teardown and construction plan to install the new look. Staff members have assignments and we schedule work nights by posting on social media and communicating to our Creative volunteers about the upcoming project.
This is the most rewarding part of the process. We finally get to see all the change take place. The old set is deconstructed and the new set is installed. This year, set change was a three-week process in physical changes. Week one was scheduled to be a teardown week; week two, a construction week; and week three was the execution week, putting everything on the stage.
We always try to be quick and efficient. This all depends on the intensity of the project. We have to be prepared to alter our design to fit around a potential change in plans. Being flexible is the most important aspect when it comes to large projects like this. Anything could be modified based on unforeseen circumstances. As we execute a new look, it may not look as expected, or something may end up being distracting. In these cases, we alter the design as we proceed.
Set Change is one of our favorite projects because we love spending time with our Creative family. There is always candy and maybe even an ice cream run here and there. (We have to make sure we fuel ourselves properly, after all.) Set Change is an extensive, thought-out process that takes a lot of teamwork, but the result is always worth it!