Honey, I Flipped the Stage

Tonight’s Ash Wednesday worship felt truly significant. Our teaching pastor Nick Cunningham spoke truth beyond his years and the imposition of ashes is always a powerful experience. What will make this a most memorable night however, will be that we flipped the room – made a small stage in the back and used our main stage for overflow seating. First. Time. Ever.


The worship team came up with the idea while I was in Iowa last week and each player moved forward in their respective roles. Music was acoustic and vocally rich. Lighting was the best we could do, using what we already had re-aimed in the opposite direction. The sound board was placed on the floor behind the small stage and mixed from an iPad – our sound engineer seated in the audience. No on-screen media to speak of which freed up our media guys to give a hand to other aspects. My task was to create a backdrop and help set the ambience w/ unique pieces. Three 9′ x 12′ drop cloths – pressed and hung w/ pleats over the balcony ledge and two borrowed rugs gave us just what we needed. MIY light boxes put the finishing touches on the makeshift stage.


I must say at first not all walking into the worship center were thrilled; in fact a lot of folks ¬†felt disconcerted, flustered and slightly confused. I can understand – it’s tough finding your “regular” seat when everything’s backwards. Exactly. The room served as a helpful metaphor of what it means to take notice, turn around and go a different way. “Direction – not intention – determines your destiny,” Pastor Nick reminded us. And by the close of our time together we were keenly aware of that truth. Sometimes faith calls you to turn completely around.


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