A Clean Stage = A Healthy Culture

Ok Creative Team, I need for you guys look past what may seem a bit nit-picky for a few minutes; allow me to explain. Yes, this is one of my more annoying characteristics, but I believe that the little details matter! The ‘one-percenter’s’ make a big difference to the overall result.

One thing that I’m a very big fan of is a tidy stage. Why?  Because it communicates a few things to our church:

  • You take seriously what you do on stage.
  • You want to bring your best to God, in every aspect.
  • You want things to be clean & welcoming for New People.

There is something to having a tidy stage that communicates these things to anyone who joins our church services.  We can’t really tell people what to think, but we definitely can influence their perception.

For instance, when someone walks into our church but is looking for any excuse to leave, something as silly as a sloppy looking stage or poorly designed set can be a deterrent.  Think about it: you never leave your house dirty when you are expecting guests.

For some people their perception is definitely their reality, even if this seems unreasonable.  We have the opportunity to effect that perception to help bring them closer to Jesus, so why not? A messy stage distracts the eye and can also be a hindrance when troubleshooting a problem.

Ok, I’ll assume you’re onboard with me now.  Yes, an incredible worship set can go a long way, but let’s leave that for another conversation.

Let’s talk about 3 simple things that we can do to create a more visually appealing stage for our worship services.

    1. CLEAN CABLE RUNS

Clean cable runs are a simple trick to make our stage look neat and professional.

I’m a big advocate of having clean cable runs.  If you can, try and group the cables together that are moving along the same path.  Think through how you need things to be run before you actually run it.  Our Audio Team Leader, Paul Thomason, is AWESOME at this, but we can all help him and the audio team out on this one.

Label Everything!
Audio team –  it is very important to carry two things with you at all times; White electrical tape and a sharpie. Before plugging in a microphone or a DI, take the XLR cable, and wrap both ends two or three times with tape. Label the cable on both ends so you know what that cable is going to connect to. That way, you can quickly identify cables at the floor box and know their destination.

90 degree angles!
Have you ever seen a 12 channel floor box with 12 XLR cables all going different directions? It clutters up the stage and it’s an eyesore. Combine as many cables as you can so they travel along a single path, and when they split out to the desired location, they do so at a right angle.

      1. REMOVE EXTRA ‘FLUFF’

Removing extra ‘fluff’ from our stage will AUTOMATICALLY improve our stage’s look.

Walk about 3 or 4 rows back from our stage and take a look.  No seriously, go ahead and do it this Wednesday or Sunday. What can you notice on stage that doesn’t HAVE to be there?  I’m not talking about stuff that needs to be there, but rather the ‘fluff’.  Chairs, blacks, music stands, papers, cups, rubbish, guitar cases, excess leads etc.  ANYTHING that doesn’t need to be there, take it off the stage.

This is something you can do today, but we need to maintain every single weekend. It needs to become part of our culture as a team. In fact, if we all did this every time we were rostered on, we would have a pretty shmick stage. Stages are NOTORIOUS for being magnets for ‘stuff’, so removing anything that doesn’t have to be there will make our stage look even better immediately.

      1. MODEL STANDARDS

Teaching and modelling standards will keep our stage clean and change our team’s culture.

If there are only one or two people looking out for all these things, then it can get exhausting and even annoying and frustrating.

However, if we ALL take the time to teach and model to new team members the standards of how we do things as a team, then we’ll multiply our efforts.  This point has application far beyond a clean stage, but just imagine if EVERYONE saw keeping the stage, the sound desks and even the stage storage rooms CLEAN because they understood that’s just what we do.  Sounds pretty great, hey?

This will change how each of our team members view their ownership of each service. Instead of just ‘filling a roster’, which we don’t ever want anyone to think is the case, they’ll be empowered and encouraged to take action to improve the worship service as a whole. Remember; what you are part of is bigger than the part you play. Every person has a vital part to play in this team!

Josh and I can’t just say it once, though. This stuff has to be taught and modelled by all of us, over and over again before it becomes part of our culture.  The result of this hard work will be a healthier team culture.

Let’s together work at developing a cleaner, healthier culture in Creative.

Katie Swift

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