Christmas production
It’s never too late to put together a stellar plan for a knock-it-out-of-the-park Christmas event.

Christmas Production: How to Best Use Tech to Tell The Story

We should challenge the “norm,” when it comes to planning for our Christmas events. But when it comes to technology, the most important thing isn’t about what piece of gear we use or how we use it, but rather why we are using it.

When you first saw the title of this article, how many beats did your heart skip? I caught you off guard a little bit, didn’t I?! It probably also caused your neck to suddenly feel as if It had also tightened up. 

Whether you do a large Christmas production or a small quiet service at your house of worship, if you haven’t already begun to plan, you are unfortunately behind.

The question I have for you is how far along are you in your Christmas planning? 

Whether you do a large Christmas production or a small quiet service at your house of worship, if you haven’t already begun to plan, you are unfortunately behind. 

My apologies if I am the bearer of bad news on the subject, but I’ve always found it odd that in ministry, we seem to forget when Christmas is. 

It’s almost as if we’re surprised by it every year. 

Well, fear not. It’s never too late to put together a stellar plan for a knock-it-out-of-the-park Christmas event. 

The theme for Christmas this year is titled “How can we do something different to tell the Jesus story?” I’m thinking, short of a newborn, there isn’t anyone on the planet who doesn’t know the general story of what Christmas is about. 

While all may not necessarily embrace and engage the true meaning of the holiday in their daily lives, people know why it’s celebrated. With that known, how can we tell a commonly known story, a story that never changes, in a unique and fresh way? How can we actively engage the community and bring them into an experience that calls them to learn something new, about this amazing story? 

Since the story never changes, what can we do to deliver it in a different way? For instance, ministries tend to separate the story of Christmas from the story of Easter. We focus on the celebration of His birth for one and celebrate the Resurrection for the other. 

Have you ever considered telling the Easter story as a part of your Christmas story? After all, He was born to die, and come back to life for us. Perhaps tying the two stories together would give someone a new perspective? 

The important thing is to not get stuck in the Christmas rut. 

Get creative, have fun, and do some planning. 

Oftentimes, we have two chances a year to get in front of someone, Christmas and Easter. 

Let’s do something amazing with that opportunity! 

I know at this point, you are thinking “Isn’t this supposed to be an article about tech?” and usually, if you’ve read my previous Worship Tech Director articles, you know I get into the tech details usually. With this one, though, I’m not going to tell you what lighting fixture to use that will show the best snowflake gobos for your Christmas service or discuss the quietest snow machine on the market for that same service. 

What I want to do throughout this article is to motivate and encourage you to utilize technology in the best possible way to tell the story. 

We’ve established that we have an amazing story to tell, and we should challenge the “norm,” when it comes to planning for our Christmas events. But when it comes to technology, the most important thing isn’t about what piece of gear we use or how we use it, but rather why we are using it. This of course applies to every service we do, not just for those during Christmas, but we ultimately need to be sure we have a clear picture on what story we are telling and then incorporate the right technology, so we can support the vision. 

To tell the ultimate Christmas story and leverage technology to assist in that story, we need to make a clear and intentional plan on how we will execute it. 

Ask yourself, how is this video going to support the worship experience, and tell the story? 

Is this lighting cue going to focus someone’s attention on the story or take them away from it? Are my audio levels going to be dynamic and engaging or subtle and quiet? These are just some samples of things you should be thinking through as you plan for your Christmas experience. 

No question should be left unasked. 

Again, it all comes down to creating an active, intentional experience for someone to engage in positive storytelling, and I know if you invest some time up front and plan through the details of how you will use technology to maximize your experience, you will have the most engaging Christmas experience ever. 

There are also many forms of inspiration out there to look to. Whether it be other ministries, award shows, Broadway, etc. (pick your favorite) and I always love to use those as a way to get new ideas. 

However, I also caution you not to copy what someone else has done. 

While imitation has been said to be the best form of flattery, it’s also the best way to stifle creativity, box yourself into a corner, and ultimately deny the true DNA of your unique ministry and the experience you are trying to create for your congregation. 

Therefore, use outside inspiration cautiously and only as a guide but be sure to pass all that inspiration through the filter of your ministries unique DNA. 

As an additional thought for you, Christmas (and Easter) is a time when we often get some extra monies to play with. Usually, that money goes towards product rentals and such. However, if you do some strategic planning and thinking through equipment in advance, I always advise if you can to utilize that money toward equipment purchases that will serve your church, not only during your Christmas experience, but will also set you up with new gear that you can use throughout the year. 

Yes, you can’t get as much “stuff” usually, but you can get the right equipment and use it long-term. Just something to think about and consider as you plan. 

For me and my ministry, our Christmas production was a ticketed event that brought in around 35,000 people. The monies brought in from ticket sales offered me the budget to purchase and use equipment throughout the year. It was a rare occasion that I rented anything. 

Over the years, I was slowly able to build a rather incredible system which the ministry was able to benefit from year-round. 

Again, you may not have a large ticketed event like that to coordinate, but carefully consider the budget you do have, and how it will be used to positively impact the ministry. 

Personally, I have spent many years working in and with ministries on a variety of Christmas experiences from Broadway-level productions to small intimate worship services. 

I hope I have been an encouragement to you, and if there is any way I can be of help for you, please feel free to contact me. 

I pray you have an amazing Christmas experience and lives in your community are impacted and changed for the better. Let me know if I can help, I’m here to serve!

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