16 Church Stage Design Ideas For 2022

02.22.22 10:41 AM By Alex
Stage design can make or break a live (or streamed experience). For viewers and attendees, it can easily become the number one distraction or the number one aid to immersion. This is especially true for churches and houses of worship.

We know how it feels to be in charge of church stage design. You always need good ideas for upcoming events, often coming way too quickly for you to feel adequately prepared. It gets hard to consistently brainstorm good design ideas on a limited timetable.

So we’ve done the work to come up with 16 on-trend church stage design ideas for you. All of these have been employed within the last year to great effect. Many items on this list reflect popular stage design trends in 2021, though many of them are frankly timeless.

In this article:

It was a good year for stage design. In 2020, all the production people had to huddle at home, waiting (or dreading) to get back to it. It seems like a year’s worth of bottled creativity was unleashed upon the world, and some of the best stages from 2021 show that clearly.

This list will strike a balance between overall quality and affordability. It will also showcase designs that fit different venues and rooms. After all, not all of us have a trillion-dollar football stadium-sized canvas to work with.

Lastly, you’ll notice that many designs are based on lighting fixtures and stage shape. This also reflects some of the biggest trends in the industry, as many churches and concert venues moved away from large set pieces and into the world of LED walls and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to the platform itself.

So, bookmark this page and rest easy’ We’ve got your next 16 stage designs covered.

Let’s go!
By the way, shoutout to Church Creatives and Church Sound and Media Techs on Facebook. They’ve become one of our favorite destinations for community and inspiration, and no, they don’t sponsor us. We got it from those pages if you don’t see a source under one of these.

​1. Staggered/Cascading LED Bars

LED bars are a fantastic and relatively inexpensive way to improve the quality of your stage design. We especially like the look achieved by staggering them. This means you get a slightly different look depending on where you stand in the auditorium. Therefore, it adds a sense of depth. You can pull this off even on a horizontal grid by handing each bar down at different lengths.

Just don’t hang them down with just the DMX cable.

​2. One Big LED Wall

Source: Church of the Redeemer

Sometimes we avoid the notion of a monolithic stage design. We think we need a huge variety of fixtures and set pieces. But LED walls are different. As you can see by this display, it can work quite nicely as the only piece. Look out for more “minimalistic” designs in the years ahead, especially with the church’s new focus on streamed services with tight camera shots.

​3. Stage in the Center

Who says the stage has to be at one side of the room? We’ve seen the emergence of literal center-stage designs like this one during the past several years. This design could work quite well at any offsite retreat where the conference room becomes your canvas – or for worship nights.

It leads to an organic feeling in worship experiences. Everyone feels like a participant. Supplying everyone’s lyrics in an omnidirectional manner could prove challenging, however.

P.S. You also get to make your pastor dizzy when they have to preach on this one.

​4. Stained Glass

Source: Hillsong

Now, we don’t necessarily recommend you commission a gigantic stained-glass piece for your sanctuary, although that would be awesome. This is accomplished by mapping high-res images of stained-glass are onto LED walls. You can achieve a similar look regardless of your display setup.

But if your church does have old stained-glass pieces back in storage, now is the time to roll them back out.

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​5. Unvarying Spotlights (And Fog)

Source: Midsummer Vilnius

You don’t need 12 different lighting fixtures to have a good stage design. In 2021, we saw many symmetrical spotlight arrangements form the centerpiece for churches and concert venues. Also, not the usage of fog here, which makes the spotlights look 10x better. It can be challenging to convince some pastors about fog, but it’s worth it.

​6. Horizontal LED Bars + Neon

As we mentioned in the introduction, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for some ideas. This simple design proves the principle. They used four long horizontal LED bars and some fog to create an excellent look. Neon colors will cut through and produce the best aura as well.

​7. Angled Backdrops

Speaking of balling on a budget, this is an eye-catching design from low-cost materials. We would do something similar with corrugated plastic and LED tape, making this arguably the most cost-effective design on the list. The angled backdrops are excellent for churches that have mostly converted to streaming studios. They catch the eye and then direct it downward toward the band or preacher.

​8. Getting Vertical

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the “studio” vibe, don’t be afraid to go vertical. If your building has a high ceiling (like many do), then take advantage of it. This venue gave their music an epic feel with 30ft high LED walls with pars in between. A low-cost alternative: Remove the LED Walls, and you’re still left with a fantastic design.

​9. Retro Storm Fixtures 780S

The Retro Storm 780S took the church world by storm (pun intended) over the past few months. It deserves its very own spot on this list. The simple-yet-elegant design can be implemented in almost any venue, immediately adding to the aesthetic. If we had our own Church Tech Person Awards (The Techies?), this would win Lighting Fixture of the Year for 2021. Note: It has several tiers and imitators to work with virtually any budget.

​10. All White/Cheaper Fixtures

Source: Mosaic

You don’t necessarily have to use the most expensive option of everything to have a fantastic design. Mosaic is well-known for their creativity in the church world. They recently went with an all-white design, using low-cost alternatives for their lighting fixtures. Retro minimalism is in, so take advantage of it. We all have an old fixture or two lying around that’s ready for its return to glory.

​11. Interior Looks

Could Christmas 2021 mark the return of big set pieces? Obviously, this look is huge for Christmas. Having a couch and sitting vocalists even added a unique feel to this church's Christmas services. However, as every church has realized in the past couple of years, creating a look that fits live-streaming is absolutely necessary. So, we’ll be interested to see if interior looks come back for other holidays, like maybe Arbor Day?

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​12. Don’t Forget About Instruments

Source: Church of the City

Remember, your instruments are part of your stage design, too! And your musicians, for that matter. But we all know they’re a bit harder to control. A recent trend we’ve seen is incorporating the piano case into the overall design of your stage.

We don’t recommend spray-painting a real piano black, by the way. This is a Nord Stage 3 in a hollowed-out case. You or a contractor can easily make something similar.

​13. Jutting Stage

Source: Elevation Church

We often only think about what goes on top of a stage…but the actual platform is part of the deal. If you have a room with anything resembling panoramic seating, consider having your stage just forward. We know plenty of churches that added temporary additions to achieve something similar for a season.

​14. Optical Illusion

At first glance, it seems like this shot was taken with a wide-angle lens. But as you can see by the mock-up, it’s an intentional (albeit trippy) design. It’s meant to pull your eye into the action and keep you captivated. Props to whoever came up with it!

​15. Staggered/Textured Backdrop

Source: Passion

LED walls don’t have to be flat against the back of your stage. The versatility of their design allows them to be arranged in a variety of patterns, including this design from Passion 2022. This ensures that people can view it from multiple angles and adds a new dimension to everything happening on stage. You can accomplish something similar with fewer LED panels.

​16. Monochrome

Source: Cody James

Finally, we have the work of LD Cody James. Sometimes we think a stage design has to incorporate multiple colors. But remember, lighting is all about the mood and experience you want to convey to the viewers. Oftentimes, that can be accomplished with monochromatic designs. Experiment with it next time you find yourself at the ‘ole lighting console!

Psst…

By the way, we can hook you up with any of the gear or materials necessary for these designs. Or with a unique design just for you. Hit us up. We’ll chat about your needs instead of just trying to sell you on the most expensive thing, and we’ll integrate it seamlessly into your current systems.

Note: If you recognize any of these images, reach out to us and let us know. We’d love to give as much specific credit as possible to the churches and TD’s.

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