On Tuesdays, the Oaks Fellowship team has their programming meeting. That?s when Pastor Scott (or whoever is speaking), Kelvin Co (their creative pastor), Clayton (their worship pastor), and their experience team meet together. They bring their experience/first impressions team into the meeting because they?ve realized that?s such a vital part of what happens on a Sunday morning.
A big part of their vision for the services at The Oaks has always been that the entire service is the message. Now they?re expanding that vision to: the entire experience is the message. It?s not just what happens inside the sanctuary that is part of the message; it?s what?s in the lobby and even parking lot. They want that to be a cohesive experience. So they even do run-throughs with their ushers for complicated altar calls or things they have planned for a given service.
Even though their programming meeting happens on the Tuesday before the weekend, that?s not the first time they?re talking about the Sunday service. During every programming meeting, they?re talking at least two sermon series? out. They use the Series Planning Sheet from the e-book, Developing a Series, to keep all the information together. They have the calendar mapped out far ahead, so they have a framework to know exactly what they need to talk about in the meeting.
Thus, by Tuesday, they are talking specifics for the upcoming weekend, having forecasted previously what would be coming up. It?s really just specifics and making sure they?re all on the same page for the service. That’s when they talk through the cue sheet.
Then the worship team goes and prepares their worship set or simply tweaks what they?d already planned. While that?s happening, the tech team are proofing, loading, and testing content?sermon notes, lyrics, graphics, and videos? as well as preparing any special elements such as props, illustrations, response devices, etc.
On Thursday, there?s a pre-production meeting that happens between the worship team and creative arts/production team. That happens in the afternoon. They walk through the cue sheet and even block everything on the stage. Who will stand where? Where will you exit the stage? How will you get on stage?
They go from song to song, transition to transition, and see exactly what will happen during the weekend. Then they talk through any details that might be outside of the normal.
The worship team also has a run sheet for every song?sometimes 8 to 9 pages for a longer song. It goes through every element of the song, even reprinting eight times a chorus that would be sung eight times. There are notes indicating who leads the song, when there?s a drum solo, when there are guitar parts? everything.
They do this because they have agreed that the creative, production, and worship teams co-lead worship together. Thus, they want the center screen operator, ProPresenter operator, director, and camera operators knowing exactly what?s going on.
So often in churches, tech teams show up on Sunday mornings. They first look for their coffee. Then for the first time, they try to figure out what?s going on that morning. It leads to less intentional camera directing, lighting, and more, because they aren?t in on the plan.
So they embraced the philosophy that they?re co-leading worship together. Every person needs to know the song as well as the musicians do.
They talk through all of those things in detail at pre-production. Then on Thursday, as the worship team rehearses, the production team has their meeting to talk through details.
At 8 o-clock, when the worship team is done rehearsing, the tech team and worship team get together and run through the entire worship set.
Finally, on Sunday mornings, powering everything up, sound checking, and getting the worship team?s and tech team?s thumbs up, they pray then run through the service again. They don?t stop, and they run through everything. They act as if the room is filled with people and say exactly what they?re going to say. That way there?s no guessing when slides or name tags go up. They know exactly what?s about to happen in the service.
Kelvin Co?s philosophy is that you can?t fix problems during a service. You have to fix them before they happen. 99% of problems people experience come from not rehearsing. Thus, they test it all and rehearse it all.
And that’s the typical weekend of production at the Oaks.