31 Oct Gratitude – Time Out! – November 2014 – Part 1: Our Plan

Life App: Gratitude – Letting others know you see how they’ve helped you.
Theme: Time Out!
Date: November, 2014

Sports? or Clocks? or Sports?

This month, as we sat down to brainstorm about November’s set design, we found ourselves all over the map.  When we brainstorm, I usually have the Get Ready section from Week 1’s script printed, along with the poster image-graphics for the month’s theme (you can read more about our creative team and brainstorming sessions here).

IMG_2972As we looked over the ideas in the Get Ready section, we thought a bit about last October when we did a huge sport’s themed set for Honor – Road to Glory. Of course we began thinking about how we could do sports again, but make it different. Some of our ideas for that are listed below. When we began looking at the graphics, our thought process took a turn. The graphics are oriented more toward clocks, so we started thinking about clocks and all we could do with that. IMG_1691That reminded us a bit of the set we did for Honesty-Moment of Truth. That had a lot of clocks, but our ideas for this clock-oriented set would be very different. Again, see below.

The final plan however, came after reading through the Host’s openers each week.

SIDE NOTE/TIP: If you do not read through all of the scripts prior to the month (particularly the host’s part) – you should! I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve created something for the set and/or environment based soley on the graphics and the Get Ready section and then realized I needed something built into the set each week for the host. It happened in September with our Opportunity Knocks set. I thought I could just create foam core elements (like the watering can, etc.) that would hang on the wall behind each door. Then I was preparing props for Week 1 and saw that I needed a real watering can and plant. UGH! I had not left enough room for a table and watering can behind our doors. So, we improvised and made it work, but it would have been a lot easier if I had just looked ahead. MENTAL NOTE TO SELF – READ ALL OF THE SCRIPTS AHEAD OF TIME!

Anyhow, this month, the scripts and the hosts part lean heavily into a sports-like atmosphere with the host saying “TIME OUT” each week, leading a competition between the small groups, and keeping a leader board… so, that took our thinking back around to a sports theme. Even with the detours and varying ideas that we came up with… I think we landed on something really fun! It will definitely lean more toward sports than clocks, but I think we were able to incorporate enough from the graphics so that both aspects will be represented.

Our First Ideas

Here are some of the original ideas we came up. They reflect the sports-themed and clock-themed ideas that we brainstormed.

  • We considered painting the entire backdrop in black and white stripes like a referee’s shirt. We have five-four foot panels and we were going to measure one foot wide stripes across the entire backdrop and then paint them in alternating black and white stripes. In front of the backdrop, we would use the green “astroturf” we had down on the stage floor from this year’s IMG_1314summer series on Friendship. Then we would put small orange cones around the stage.
  • We considered asking people to lend us clocks of all shapes and sizes. We were going to make one oversized clock for the center of the backdrop and then we would place the donated clocks on various platforms on either side of the center clock. We were thinking we would make the center clock weasley__s_clock_by_lockheed815-d50exfzlike the one in the Weasley’s house from Harry Potter, that tells where all of the family members are at any given time. We thought our clock would tell you where you were each week in the Bible.  I love this idea… and while we did not use it this time around – I am saving it in my idea file for the future!
  • The last idea we considered was to have a “crowd” image on either side of the backdrop – basically like the crowd at a football game. A goal post would be center stage and the faces of the crowd would be on either side. The stage would become the football field and the kids and communicators would all feel as though they were either on the field or in the crowd. Again – I’m saving this idea for the future but for this month, we couldn’t make the crowd faces happen. Here is what we did decide to do:

Our Plan!

  • We are putting the green “astroturf” from our summer set on stage again. This time, we’ll line it with white duct tape to make it look like a field.
  • We’ve had our friends over at Canvas Brothers print an oversized stop watch (6 feet in diameter). That is going to hang center stage on the backdrop.
  • On either side of the stop watch, we will have our scoreboard for each team. We’ve decided to make each small group a team. We have 8 small groups at one service and 7 at the other. So, we’ve named the teams by number and given them each a color. They can dress according to their team color and will make a team flag. Our scoreboards will resemble the digital stopwatch on the graphics and I will just change out the scores each week and between each service. I’ll have a running record on paper to keep track of what needs to go up on stage before each service each week.
  • We are using two flat screen-TV’s that we have on stands (they are used for small groups to play DVD’s and student ministry to play video games) on either side of the stage. We’ve got a tablet attached to each and on each TV will be a running stop watch to keep the time from start of large group to finish. Just an added “time” piece.
  • Finally, we’ll have some orange cones around the stage and the host will wear a referee shirt each week with a whistle.

Here are a few photos of what we have going on so far:

How about you all? How are your sets coming along? Jump into the comments section below and tell us what you’ve been working on! Be sure to include pictures. You can also share what you’re doing on Facebook or Twitter! Can’t wait to see what you have going for Gratitude – TIME OUT!