When in doubt…Use a Cello

We love David, our cellist, and any opportunity we can use him within our service, we jump on it.

As part of our “More Than Happy” series, we dealt with the topic of anxiety and how do we navigate its presence in our lives. To resolve the message that day, we invited everyone into a moment of shared communion alongside this poignant song.

No. Dry. Eyes.


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When it is REALLY Reckless Love

This weekend we were able to As both introduce the fantastic song, Reckless Love, to our church community and continue our “More Than Happy” theme by telling an amazing story of redemption and wrapping it within the lyrics of this powerful song.

This highlights a couple techniques we employ often to maximize impact.

  1. Introduce a new worship chorus by using it in special way that allows people to just experience and absorb. This gives us the ability to even highlight the lyrics of the song and even weigh response before it becomes part of our regular rotation.
  2. We call this “The Weave”. In this case, we bookended the video story of Krista with the song. It prepared people for what they were about to hear and then put an appropriate period on her story.

Krista’s story also encompassed one of our close local partners Refuge for Women, which serves as a transition home/program for ladies escaping the horror of human trafficking. Located right in Las Vegas, we are humbled to stand alongside their work providing resources and volunteers. This was an extra subtle bonus of presenting her story.

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Keep Your Head Up… Concluding Our Money Series

Sometimes you just have to do something because it is fun. As we wrapped up our Money series we did our own version of the popular song “Keep Your Head Up”.  Tyriq, one of our vocalist, is also a performer on the Strip and around the country. His interpretation of the song was on point – and we even transitioned from our Host moment by using our Student Ministry pastor to get us into the song with a little be box.   And so ….


Love Is Here Christmas 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 4.28.39 PM.pngChristmas. It always has that special challenge to present a unique, creative, moving experience that will give a fresh perspective on a well known narrative. One of the keys for us as we begin the process each year is to have a conversation around the tone and emotional objective we are looking for in the Christmas service experience. This will become the catalyst forward as we begin working with elements, choosing music, and enhancing the environments.

This year we landed on the theme, “Love Is Here”.  The theme was actually inspired by a Laura Story song we ended up NOT using (but it is an awesome song we may use someday). Love is such a cliche term, but we wanted to communicate the warmth and security of God’s love especially in the midst of some real tumultuous times people were experiencing. We expected that people would be looking for a sense of confidence and comfort this holiday season so we let that be our tone.

The reason we didn’t use the Laura Story song was because our Music Asst. Matt Biel had written a Christmas song that we loved in its raw form and encouraged him to strengthen and refine. Fittingly, the song was titled, Love is Here. Matt and the band recorded an acoustic version and followed that up with a music video. This was used in our Christmas promotion and marketing as a free download and a “share” opportunity on social media channels.  This was released the first week of December and created some great traction for us.

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Our desire was to start the service up, lite and big. So we kicked it off with a great video from Igniter. The power of this video is the whisper element as it really grabbed everyone’s attention even as they were still loading into the room and finding seats.

We tied this element together seamlessly with our own original element using a Brady Bunch opener motif. The idea was to contrast the appeal to slow down and breathe with the realities of what many are feeling.  We projected this on a 9-surface screen that was build specifically for this element, but used throughout the service. For effect, we lowered the screen using our lift motors and truss and started the service with the screen near the surface of the stage. At the conclusion of the video, we raised the screen as the band kicked into an upbeat version of the original song, Love Is Here (rough mix).

Two Christmas worship tunes:
*Joy To The World (Ashes Remain)
*He Shall Reign Forevermore (Chris Tomlin)

Our big element was an interwoven piece combining monologue, live painting, and music to set up the message. April Holiday, one of our key creative players, delivered a moving introductory monologue setting the context for the arrival of Christ. It can be found here.


Cloverton’s Christmas Hallelujah accompanied by the cello and highlighted with the live painting contained a powerful moment that set up the message so well. Our intent was to execute this moment with subtlety and allow it to speak to the heart without going over the top.

Following the message, O Holy Night (Kerrie Roberts) was sung as the painting was completed. One of our signature moments each Christmas is to feature our local and global missions partners. We chose to do this as candles were being lit throughout the room via video. Each of our partners sent a video of candles being lit as they said, “love is here, Merry Christmas” in their native language. It was powerful as the light from the screens were overwhelmed by the light in the room as 1000’s of candles were lit.



We concluded with our traditional singing of Silent Night.

Element Links:

Full Video of Christmas Service 2015

Christmas 2015 PCO Run Sheet

Special Music: Us For Them

Sometimes your plan collides with the world in ways you could never HAVE planned. The week prior to this service a terrorist shooting took place in San Bernardino, CA that shocked all of us. This song had already been planned in the service as our theme was “Judgment”. Little did we know this song would have such a powerful impact based on the events and emotions of the moment.

Ben Kolarcik : Us For Them

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Gungor Lyric Video

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