Behind the Scenes @ OLC

We’ve been meeting for nine months, and we’re happy to share what we do with other portable churches and church planters.  The pictures below are from May 27, 2007.  There are some others in the photo album to the right.

Coffee
This is our coffee table.  We use a banner we hand printed (was a three peice section at one point) hung between two display stands and a little metal starbucks sign that we bought off of ebay.  We brew the coffee out of sight and let people come up and help themselves from the airpots. 

Computer
We run most of the adult service from one MacBook Pro.  We use ProPresenter for the song lyrics and videos, and Keynote for the message.  We have a great volunteer who creates the Keynote presentation and two or three very cool people who setup all the video stuff each week and run the services.

Info
This is our information and resource center.  It’s straight ahead at 12:00 when you walk in the front doors of the theater.  We use some pipe and drape for the background and a couple stands to display some shirts.  Two skirted tables with information and products.  It’s run by 2-4 volunteers on Sunday mornings.

Kids_check_in
Kids check in is pretty basic.  Two tables and some registration cards.  We use churchnursery.com for two part sticker labels.  This area is staffed with some volunteers.  We use the ropes of the movie theater to further rope off this area.  Only parents and kids with proper labels and adults with security lanyards are allowed in.

Kidsclass
This is a basic kids class, nothing too fancy.  We use the front of the theaters to create a classroom.  Some of our best volunteers are over in KidVenture.  It’s one of the most important things we do every week. We’re actually about to redesign and reinvent the kids area.  It will re-launch this fall when school starts and kids move to new classes.

Products
Here is a close up of some of the stuff on our resource table.  We have four different t-shirts right now, as well as a few popular worship CDs and a few popular books.  Today, we had a clearance sale on shirts because we want to clear them out to get some new ones.  If we order 100 t-shirts, we generally use Bargain Tees.

Products2
When a series is over, an awesome volunteer named Mark takes all the messages, burns them to CD and puts them in this packaging.  We don’t sell a whole bunch of these, and sometimes we give messages away for free.  We podcast our messages, so only those who can’t figure out how to work iTunes and the Internet buy them.

Projector
This is how we set up the projector in the movie theater to project onto the big screen.  It’s a heavy duty tripod, with a little custom shelf built for the top.  This was the creation of our sound guy.  It allows us to adjust the thing at every possible angle, and it doesn’t take up much space or block anyones view.  Very simple, very small, and very effective.  We really want to get a brighter HD projector, and if someone wants to write me an $8,000 check, I’d gladly make the upgrade. šŸ™‚  When you are portable, you improvise.  There are lots of solutions to problems, and lots of people can brainstorm solutions.

Sound
This is our sound board and effects rack.  Brad actually removes a couple of seats every week to fit this beast in the theater.  It’s a 56 channel Midas console and who knows how many effects processors.  Brad is one of the best sound guys I’ve ever worked with.  All the speakers, processors and amps actually belong to him, and he’s been letting us use all the gear since we started the church.  It’s really good stuff and the theater sounds amazing every Sunday morning.  Brad and his wife are some of our best volunteers. I couldn’t imagine Oak Leaf Church without them.

Stage
This is our basic stage setup.  The main area is 12×24 and about 40 inches high.  It actually goes over the front row of seats.  We set up a truss and attach a black backdrop.  There’s some stage lighting attached at various places, but most of our lights are elsewhere.  Our setup guys get to the theater before 6 AM (first service is at 9) to get all this setup. 

Volunteer
By far, one of the simplest things and most effective things we do is check in all our volunteers.  We use the birthday room at the movie theater.  Tim (our connections pastor) checks off all the volunteers and gives them a lanyard.  Kids lanyards are numbered so we can be sure to get them all back.  Every greeter, kids worker, counselor, and usher gets some kind of OLC lanyard.  Volunteer Check In gives us face time with every volunteer.  We know who is late.  We have the opportunity to thank them personally.  We give the greeters gum or mints. šŸ™‚  Tim does a great job leading this environment.  All our volunteers check in 30 minutes before the first service.

These are some of things we do every Sunday morning.  Hope it helps.

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1 comment so far

  1. Brad Ball on

    Michael,
    Thanks so much for your blog and the pictures. We are starting to a launch a new church in Gulfport, MS in the Cinemark Theater. The pictures will be a great help for my launch team visual what needs to be done. Thanks for the blog because it is a great resource of information for a church planter like me. Thanks for all your help and may God keeping pouring out His favor on you and everybody at Oak Leaf.
    In His Grip,
    Brad Ball, Church Planter
    North Harrison Church
    http://www.northharrisonchurch.com


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