The purpose behind sanctuary stage design is so much more than merely to have something on stage. Here at Irving Bible Church we see it as a way to visually connect our story, the season, church calendar, and the message we are living in. The season of Advent is one of my absolute favorites. Often the waiting and preparation that takes place in the season of Advent is skipped over and the American church becomes just as guilty of getting 'Christmasy' as shopping malls.
We wanted to create an environment that wasn't just 'Christmas', we wanted to create one that prepared our hearts for the Waiting that takes place in the weeks preparing for the coming of Christ. The barron trees we chose for the stage visually tell that story. The 'wandering through the desert', the waiting amidst the cold, a season to wait. An extra design bonus was that these trees also represented the cold of winter and add a touch of natural elements which is a sweet look these days.
Having an abandoned house next door to where you live means you score some pretty sweet dead tree limbs! Chase and I spent an afternoon digging through the overgrown weeds and pricking our fingers with thorns to pull these for the stage. I believe they are mesquite trees, the proof was in the thorns. To stand them up I purchased 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot and 6 bags of sand. The buckets were filled with sand, and then a small hole was strategically cut in the top lid so that the tree would stand upright. This project was super cost effective!
Lighting for the stage was KEY to creating the impact that this season deserves. We chose the color of purple, which is the color of the season of Advent. Our Tech team did an amazing job choosing ways to set the lights on and above stage to help capture this look!