Christmas Production: Using Story Structure in Tech to Create the Best Experience

We need to be asking, does tech in services enhance enough, to support the message? Does it improve the service and help more people discover your church?

Christmas Production: Using Story Structure in Tech to Create the Best Experience
At Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois, musicians perform on stage during a Christmas service in 2015 at the church.

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Christmas Production: Using Story Structure in Tech to Create the Best Experience

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Christmas may be the best time to be creative, and here is why:

Being creative means taking a risk at an especially important time, but the risk can also result in a big payoff.

By partnering with pastors and other ministries when casting a vision, the tech team can ignite the passion of the audience.

Christmas is by far the most notable time when vast numbers of new people attend church services. It therefore is one of the best opportunities to engage current and prospective attendees and make that great first impression.

People crave more substance with the rise of social media and news on devices; that is the same with connection to church, God and community.

The good news is that the people who are most likely to attend a church event are already looking for a way to connect with God and community.

By partnering with pastors and other ministries when casting a vision, the tech team can ignite the passion of the audience. A successful service is no different than a great novel or movie which has steps to story building.

Right now is the best time to engage storytelling tools in tech, as business, industries and communities are becoming aware of the extreme importance of storytelling for most forms of communication and live performances.

Use the same techniques in audio/visual as in writing or performing, such as:
• Grabbing your listener’s attention with a unique, exciting or unexpected element.
• Giving your congregation an emotional experience by telling a story with tech elements that support and enhance the understanding of the spiritual message and spiritual connection.
• Helping listeners digest the message and make memories that connect with God.

Listeners will not stay engaged if they are not interested or excited by the message. Attendees won’t remember the message or story, unless they can feel and connect in a space where they feel comfortable and the sound and visuals are clear.

The sermon and plan should have the elements of a good story. 

Break the plan, message, hymn/song into beats, and plan the tech elements (lighting, sound, etc.) to the beat of each piece. This is the easiest way to match the appropriate tech element to the message.

Focus on the elements that will make the story better.

For lighting and visual, look at adding texture, color, and layers to warm or cool, as well as focus to a beat.


More About Keri Rafter
Keri Rafter is the Technical Director for Floris United Methodist Church, where she focuses on innovative and outside-the-box thinking to engage the church to be a catalyst for change. Keri looks for trends and shifts in culture that provide opportunities that can be turned into potential membership growth. She coaches churches and other organizations to have patience through the risk taking process of innovating and to have a diverse and inclusive focus. She is also a television director, producer, and managing principal of MediaKraft, a Washington D.C. area creative media production company.
Get in Touch: krafter@florisumc.org    More by Keri Rafter

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Article Topics

Visual Arts · Video Production · Stage Design · Lighting Design · Team Management · Budgeting · Leadership · Team Development · Christmas Production · Community · Congregation · Ministries · Pastors · Spiritual Message · All Topics

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