Parking lot services. Drive-through worship. Whatever you call it, these outdoor events that largely started during the pandemic have stuck around, due to their popularity with worshippers. With the weather warming up, you’re probably ready to take Sunday mornings back outside.
Use a Mobile Stage
While simple outdoor services can be held in drive-in theaters, outdoor band shells, and park amphitheaters, the emerging hero of the outdoor ministry is the mobile concert stage. Mobile stages are versatile pieces of equipment that excel at producing outdoor events. For years, they have been the preferred equipment for traveling ministries.
With an astounding array of features, they are capable of first-rate presentations for any kind of speaker or praise band. And, when the event is over, they quickly fold up to be conveniently transported to the next stop. They are undeniably the way to upgrade an outdoor ministry.
Their usefulness should be no surprise. Modern church presentations have significantly evolved in recent years. It is not unusual to see live bands, theater lighting, and video walls used in churches across America.
And, with increased production value comes the need for better equipment to produce these same services in an outdoor venue. These new outdoor “venues” now need to be able to travel, have enough space for the band, protect AV equipment from the elements, have places to clamp lights, and accommodate video equipment.
So, it is no surprise that many churches have found advantages to using equipment designed for event production. Using a portable production stage allows ministries to be flexible. Services can be as straightforward, or as complex, as a church needs. Using real production equipment can turn a simple outdoor gathering into an actual event.
Make Planning Paramount
Setting up a terrific outdoor sound system is not something one can do on the fly. You must know your space well and do your best to plan ahead for contingencies. A sound plan thrown together last minute often results in a number of complications, including but not limited to awful feedback, malfunctioning equipment, and an overall distracting experience for the audience.
Your technical team should be present at the outset when planning your outdoor event so they can help foresee any possible complications and contribute ideas and solutions. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where the sound team finds out about an event last minute and has to scramble to gather the proper equipment.
–Springtree Media Group
Take Advantage of Wireless Microphone Systems
A wireless microphone, combined with the right public address system that can receive a clear signal from the microphone and broadcast the sound strongly and without signal interference, can be a major asset to presenters and performers in church settings, indoor and outdoor.
Any wireless microphone tends to be only as good as the wireless system that it is paired with. Some wireless PA systems are engineered so that they work well as a system for the particular application the user is looking for – audience size, indoor or outdoor, voice only or music, one presenter only or multiples presenter, portability, etc.
Many PA systems also feature a Bluetooth receiver so that the devices can receive wireless Bluetooth transmissions – music or voice – from a Bluetooth enabled device such as a smartphone.
One of the challenges with the popularity of today’s wireless communications is channel interference. Look for a PA system designed to be worry-free from this problem.
One of the key advantages of using a wireless mic is having the freedom to roam far from the PA system, and today’s wireless mics are extending the range of pick-up ever farther.
Consider Wi-Fi Audio Broadcasting
Congregants can stay in the comfort of their cars while listening to the service. But how can we do that?
Wi-Fi Audio Broadcasting is another option. It uses a server that takes the audio from the preacher’s microphone and converts it to a digital format so that the audio content can be sent through Wi-Fi to smart phones. People can download a free app on their cell phones and listen to the service.
The advantage of this option is that congregants can use their cellphones, and there is no need to purchase additional receivers. The disadvantages are that congregants may need broader knowledge of how to connect to a Wi-Fi network with their phones and install an app. There is a small delay that should be considered when synchronizing with video screens. In some older cellphones, it might have a poorer performance.
In most cases, you need to consider your church’s special circumstances, taking into account several factors, such as the size of your congregation and parking lot space, your budget, and how tech savvy your audience may be.