The Point Church is a Fresh Expressions Anglican Church based in Mid Sussex, United Kingdom. Our heart and vision is to be a transforming presence throughout Mid Sussex and an authentic community of people serving our local area. Our Vicar Will Kemp and a small group of others planted the church in September 2004 and this year it’s celebrating its tenth birthday.
How a church without a permanent building tackles set-up
The Point Church does not have a building large enough where we can have a Sunday service that fits all our congregation in and still leave space for visitors. This means we have to hire a local school hall out each weekend and setup for each Sunday morning service. One of our values at The Point is Whole-Heartedness and on our website we describe this in part as being “in every meeting or project we undertake as a church we aim to do it as well as we possibly can – honouring God in even the smallest of details.”
From arriving at 8am to begin unloading our on-site container until finally securing the padlocks on it at 1pm, a huge amount of work and effort goes into making the Sunday service happen, and we thought it would be fun to document the process using the @PointWorship Twitter account. So, on Sunday 14th September at 8am, the first Tweet of many began narrating the Worship and Tech Teams Setup. Statistically we posted around 46 Tweets concerning the service on the day along with loads of photos as well, all with the #PointSetup. Here is that timeline in blog form:
The live setup step-by-step
Worship & Tech Teams arrive at St Paul’s in Burgess Hill at 8am where we hold our Sunday morning service
An onsite container stores all our equipment which saves us from packing up our cars with lots of gear each Sunday!
First things first we have to set up our stage which varies from week to week depending on which Worship Team is playing (we have 4 different teams). Week 2 Team place their drummer off stage in the back right which is why our stage seems slightly askew
Our MIDAS Venice 320 sound desk is off with MIDAS being fixed at the moment and so we’re borrowing on of the teams Allen & Heath GL2200 until it’s fixed. Richard is the guy to go to if you need a cable or anything else tech related!
Each team member is responsible for setting up their own microphones, running their own leads and making sure it’s all plugged in. This allows the Tech Team to focus on setting up Front of House and running the multicore cables. Most team members are fine with this, but sometimes our Week 2 Worship Leader Matt has a little difficulty with his guitar stand…
The actual setup usually takes around 1 hour depending on the team size. On average we have 5 Worship Team and 2 Tech Team Members per week. Of course during setup, the best microphone is always reserved for the Worship Leader!
Our drum setup normally uses 4 microphones unless we’re putting up drum screens or doing a larger event. These are an AKGC214 for the overhead, an AKG D112 for the kick drum, a Shure Beta 57A for the snare drum and a Sennheiser e614 for the hi-hat.
We took a short video (link) of our Week 2 Worship Leader line checking. His singing voice sounds so much like Chris Tomlin; wouldn’t you agree?
This is what we look like all set up, ready to sound check and rehearse. The hall we’re currently in seats around 250 but there’s a sports hall we sometimes use as well that can seat 500 comfortably
The bass player this morning was using 2 guitars, one tuned a semi-tone lower for the first couple of songs. He can definitely count to 2 then…
The view from the stage as the Week 2 Worship Team line check ready for their rehearsal. There’s always some last minute alterations going on or people checking their in-ears are working properly
Tim is our main Sound Technician and we love him very much. He always makes us sound really good – he says it’s something to do with reverb and a compressor…
All our visual stuff is run from an ageing yet trustworthy MacBook Pro which is plugged into the schools projector flown from the ceiling lighting bars. We use ProPresenter to manage all our song lyrics and media that gets displayed on screen
The Week 2 Worship Team consists of 2 Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Keys, Bass Guitar, Drums, 4 Backing Vocals and Lead Vocals
At the centre of everything we do at The Point Church is the Cross (no, not the guitar)
Multicore, graphics, power amps, Aviom distribution panel and other fun things are all ‘neatly’ arranged at the side of the stage. We really emphasise the neatness just in case in we need to swap out a bad cable part way through the rehearsal!
Our Front of House system is comprised of EAW NT29 tops and NTS22 subwoofers. For larger events, we also use a pair of NT26s to fill out the space
For monitoring we run onstage monitors plus Aviom A-16 in-ear personal mixers which gives the team the ability to fine-tune what they hear on stage. Most of the team members also use the brilliant OnSong iPad app for chord charts. It’s always handy when an unplanned song gets dropped in at the last minute!
We try and communicate everything across all team members and so a set list is printed out with keys and tempos on. While we don’t always stick to this, it helps to know what songs you have with brief intro and outro descriptions in case you need reminding. it also allows the Worship Leader to hold up a number with his fingers to let the rest of the team know if the order gets changed
Here’s the church coming into the hall as the first songs begins along with our brilliant Action Team getting everyone moving
Of course, sometime team members cannot help but get involved even when it’s their week off…
We normally kick off with 2 songs aimed at the younger kids that have actions to them as well. We’ve found this helps them engage easier in worship. After the welcome by the service host and a few announcements, we have another song while we take up our offering. Our main worship sessions which usually runs anywhere between 4-7 songs takes place after the kids and youth programs begin at around 11am.
Our Worship Teams are encouraged to adapt their set based on the response of the church and so things rarely happen as planned at either the mid-week rehearsal or the pre-service one. We find preparation important in bonding together as a team, but want to give the control of our services over to God so that He can minister to us how He wants. This particular week consisted of only 3 songs which provided a very reflective time of worship: Be Lifted Up, I’m Giving You My Heart (Surrender) and One Thing Remains (Higher Than The Mountains)
The Vicar’s wife Caroline was speaking this morning on our values as a church which is a series we’re looking at leading up to our 10th birthday party on the last weekend in September. She did make a joke at the expense of the Worship and Tech Teams however so I wouldn’t have been surprised if her microphone suddenly “accidentally” muted…
We tend to sing an upbeat final song to send us out into the world. This week it was the brilliant We Could Change the World by Matt Redman, who also helped plant The Point Church back in 2004. The offering song earlier was also one of his newer songs Sing and Shout, which we love playing with our mandolin
After the final song has finished, pack down begins pretty much instantly. It normally takes us 45 minutes to disassemble everything, put it in the correct boxes and then load up the container so that it all fits in properly. Couple this with making sure we don’t disturb anyone receiving prayer or ministry makes this part of the process as important as setting up
Of course, once everything is packed away, it doesn’t stop there. That evening we were down at our local pub worshipping and sharing Jesus with our community!
And that’s what a Sunday morning service from the eyes of the Worship and Tech Teams at The Point Church looks like! If you’ve got any questions about what we do, how we do it or why we do it we’d love to hear them, as well as how your church does this kind of thing. Feel free to follow us on Twitter and visit our website and get in contact as well!
Setting up afresh each week is a huge commitment. We’d be interested to hear of similar stories and how your experiences in a permanent venue differ. Please comment below (and if you’d like to submit your timeline as above please get in touch).