At Journey, we do from 8 to 12 series every year. Most are four to six weeks long, although the occasional three-weeker gets in there from time to time. Each series we do gets branded in some way, depending on the series.
- Each series gets a 24″ x 36″ movie poster designed that gets displayed by the entrance to the auditorium starting two weeks before the series begins.
- A graphic set is designed for JourneyWired.org – buttons, banners, headers, etc.
- When we can, the cover of the bulletin is printed to match the series. Sometimes, it’s not cost effective because we have a relatively small number of them, at least as far as commercial printers are concerned. For those series, we default to a generic cover. (Outreach.com is a great resource for those!)
- Something that we haven’t tried yet, but are planning to this year is having t-shirts printed for our Guest Services team to wear with the series graphics on it. Look for these later in the spring or summer.
- When possible, we make a series trailer – a short commercial to promote the series.
- And last but not least: the stage design. Every series has a different look, but because we have so many series, not every series gets its own “unique” look. For some series, the look is simply the stage lights rearranged in a different configuration. For others, it’s more series specific. Last summer, we did a series on changing the world and one week was about going green, so we loaded the stage with greenery. For our next series, I Object: Common Objections to Christianity, we’re building some stage elements that match the graphic set. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until Sunday to see the finished product, but the look was inspired by the same thing that inspired the series: this book. (A hint to the possible look perhaps?) I’ll post more about the design of the set and the lighting this weekend.
So, you might be wondering “Why? That seems like an aweful lot of time and energy spent to dress up a message that should stand on its own.” Well, yes and no.
Yes, it takes time and energy to come up with the look. Good design takes time. Great design takes longer. The graphics take time, the set takes time, etc. And it costs money – all that stuff isn’t free (although we try to rework and reuse anything and everything we can). But, you only have to design the elements once, and when you spread that out over a six week series it makes it more economical.
The second part is that no, the message doesn’t stand alone. At Journey, we carry the message through every part of the worship experience. Every element people see, hear, touch or experience is meant to reinforce the message. Yes, the gospel message of Jesus is powerful and certainly can work on its own. But when we combine that with our efforts and time, God can use our work to do great things.
Check back Sunday to see the finished look!