1. Nail Down the Plan – This can be the hardest part for creatives. We like to leave things in wet cement for as long as possible to allow inspiration to take its course. However, at some point, perfectionism has to take a backseat to reality. I believe tweaks can be made, but the bones of the service need to be figured out in enough time for the rest of the moving parts to be completed. For example, the video guys can’t begin working on the worship support until the worship leaders pick the songs.
There also needs to be enough time given to figure out any special effects or requests that need time to create. A few Easters ago, our team created a video that spanned four screens mounted over the stage. This took time to align and create the content, so nailing down the idea early was essential.
2. Volunteers – I cannot say this enough: volunteers are the backbone of the church. Yes, I am a paid staff member, but I couldn’t do all that needs to be done without them. These people are giving up personal and family time to be serving. Make sure you are over communicating the needs and time commitments to them. I like to start the first Easter pitch in January, asking people to start locking in their calendars.
Consider splitting up positions as much as possible. For me, the audio engineer, video director, and graphics person need to remain consistent, but camera operators can be rotated around and still maintain quality. That may help with scheduling needs and getting enough people to serve.
3. Rehearsals – Don’t bypass the rehearsal. I can’t recommend enough, having a full run-through of your service. Having everyone practice the transitions helps give a feel for the service and bring continuity. It also helps to lower the stress level and avoid silly mistakes.
Finally, a quick word on staging. The stage is the focal part of the church; now, before I get hailed as a heretic, let me explain. I am saying that the stage is where everyone is facing – it is where everything will take place, and is where you can make the biggest visual impact with your congregation. So no, I am not saying the stage is more important than the Cross, so no negative comments please. Your staging doesn’t have to be complex to be powerful, but give it thought and time. Maybe a simple cross is all you need, but I encourage churches to take the time to use this space to their benefit. Remember Easter is a celebration!