The last graphic our previous designer Josh Tate (who now works at Niche) made for us at Northwood Church was for a sermon series called Family United. The graphic is on the screen you see above. I snapped a picture during service so you could see the EP, lighting, and backdrop that we chose to coincide with it. There is one important thing to really look at when it comes to live IMAG: Never let your background be brighter than your subject. In this situation, blues and purples aren’t that bright of colors, so naturally they sit a bit darker. But if you have to use colors like orange, yellow, or other “hot” colors, you might need to look at the levels at which those are lighting your background. So if you go with hotter colors, look at dimming them down a bit so your subject really stands out.
I was able to work with West Wind Church, in Iowa, with a good friend of mine, Brent Minter, for this sermon series. They were moving into a book study of Colossians. So, Brent had a great idea of what they wanted for the series after meeting with his team. They had the title, the had the subtitle, and he really wanted to use the idea of clouds since Colossians to a large degree talks about God residing over everything. With that, I created the graphic you see above.
Then, when we moved to the bump, we wanted to do something a bit different. Their last bump was all graphically generated (think, no real pictures or videos, all graphic design based). So we wanted to go a different direction with this one, using real video and pictures to tell the story. I did some reading of Colossians and came up with this script:
We look at the Son
And see God’s purpose for everything
Everything finds its purpose in him
Based on this passage:
Colossians 1:15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
Brent loved it. He asked for one or two small adjustments, and the result is what you see below.
A while back I had the fortunate opportunity of helping out Bay West Church with their Easter series called Road to Risen. As a designer, I really wanted to put a lot of emphasis on the word risen and the action associated with it and Easter. So I went with a bright light flare. It was tricky and difficult to make a light flare appear behind text. By the nature of the light flare the front face of the text has to be dark for the flare to shine through. Hopefully, I ended up on the right balance of dark and light so you can get the effect and still read it easily. It was a really fun series to work on, and I hope it touches many people where they are and helps further the Kingdom. Here’s the simple bump I put together for them as well.
This particular bump was pretty simple and straight to the point. My philosophies on sermon series bumps are two fold:
- You can’t reveal the answer of the series. I can’t stress this enough. If I reveal the answer of the series, then the pastor has nothing to reveal to the congregation. Sometimes the “answer” to the series is obvious, but you still don’t want to talk about the answer before the sermon. You want to set up the communicator with peaking the interest of congregation.
- They need to be short and sweet. There’s nothing worse than a sermon series bump that goes long. We are about to listen to someone talk for 20-40 minutes, we don’t need a really long bump. I typically aim to keep our bumps anywhere from 20-30 seconds. This is usually enough time to peak interest and get the point across. It’s also important (for us) that we have enough time for the band to clear stage and to change up the set for preaching (stool, stand, etc). In our case, our guys are usually off stage in about 15 seconds.
When we were in our sermon series about money (The Price is Not Right), we found it really difficult to find special songs relating to money, greed, etc that had a good message. Then one day Brent Minter made a post about this song – I Shall Not Want by Audrey Assad. Man was it convicting. We never got around to using the song during our series, but I wanted to post it to give anyone out there an idea for a special song that could really hit home with some people. It’s a beautifully written song that makes you think. Here’s some of the lyrics:
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God
when I taste Your goodness I shall not want
when I taste Your goodness I shall not want
Our february sermon series was about how to handle your money. So our team here at church called it “The Price is Not Right”. We wanted to go for kind of that retro game show feel. However, as with all of our sets over the past year, we wanted to make sure that it was re-usable. Long story short, if a set we make is not re-usable for us on Sunday morning or one of our ministries somewhere, then it’s probably not a good investment.
So we devised a plan.
We took into account standard sizes of wood pieces. We made each piece the right sizes to maximize the pieces of lumber that we would have to buy to make the set. You’ll also see that with the shapes that we made, we’ll have a lot of versatility to making new stage looks in the future just by simply combining different pieces or turning the pieces.
We got a ton of shop lights for dirt cheap off the internet, as well as a ton of 60 watt bulbs that are mirrored on the front. It was important to me to get the mirrored front lights. This keeps the harshness of the bright bulb off the congregation, yet still gives off a warm glow (you’ll see in a picture below). Here’s a few pics of the pieces and our awesome volunteers putting it together.
As you see in the picture above, in the background we have a set that we use occasionally for series or events. This goes back to what I was talking about investing in sets that we can use again. The post for that backdrop is here.
Next, we had to hang four of the pieces. That’s always fun 24 feet in the air.
Here’s a close of up of the fixture. It has a real nice glow to it, without the harshness of seeing the bulb directly.
All in all it gave us a great camera backdrop as well as the ability to create some cool worship moments. Thanks to the team!