At The Movies Summer Series…

IMG_8735So the At The Movies series has become a popular direction for many churches and often finds itself into the summer months. We originally have done this series under the heading “God on Film”, but shifted a few years ago to the At The Movies branding. This year we did a presentation shift as well that was a bit risky for us, but turned out to be a huge win.

We made the decision to pre-shoot and pre-produce each of the five weeks of this series by having our communicators in a studio setting and then splicing the selected clips into each location in the message. This eliminated the live speaker on stage and everything was done on our large center roll down screen.

Our reasons for doing this were:

1/ Our senior pastor and main communicator was out for 12 weeks over the summer for a planned sabbatical. However, because he was able to shoot these prior to departure, he was the communicator for three of the weeks. This was a win!

2/ We also wanted to experiment with using video for our messages at our Windmill campus. We had not done this in our main am services at this, our original and largest campus. to introduce this as an option was important to us. However, we were not completely sure how it would “play.”

It played well. Very well. The momentum from weeks one (attendance up over 800 year over year) carried through all five weeks of the series. It was a momentum and attendance builder during a time of year where we normally begin to slow down.

We added some features like popcorn and a photo area in the lobby, but did not go overboard.  However, each time the lights dimmed and the movie soundtrack began to play, people were completely immersed.

Here are the movies we did this summer:

  • Hidden Figures
  • The Greatest Showman
  • The Impossible
  • UP
  • Rudy

Because of copy-write restrictions, we were not able to play these live on our stream or post on our Vimeo on-demand account.  In leu, we pre-recorded some intros and outro’s to a “best off” series that we replayed during the message portion online.  It was interesting because our online viewing was cut in half, but our physical on campus attendance was way up. It is causing us to have conversations around occasional “scarcity” series that encourage people to actually show up physically.

We also added a variety of features and special music to accompany the movies. One example, we had a solo pianist playing UP theme music as our walk in during that week.


Great series. Momentum builder. Would encourage.

If you would like resources for this series, please email .

“Mom is the Bomb”… Mother’s Day

momcover.jpgAlways a big day on a typical church calendar, it’s essential that we don’t ignore the power of this holiday to leverage the impact. And it’s always a significant thing to honor and celebrate the ladies. Let’s speak to the cynical…

It’s easy to view this weekend and grab hold of the cynical. Do so at your own risk. This is one of those moments that if you “take a stand” or choose to avoid the significance of the day, you will miss an opportunity. So let’s not miss it.

Our theme this year came together rather late in our process. We spotted some inspiration at our local “lush” store and went with the “bomb” branding. All of it came together within a few hours.

  1. My Mom’s The Bomb branding and invites. We wanted to give everyone a heads up to actually use the day to invite mom. So our graphics team quickly developed a look and we went to print in time for the prior Sunday.
  2. Social media channels were all fired up to capture this day and promote leading up.
  3. Our awesome Admin found a bath bomb distributor and within a short time we had 2500 bath bombs with custom labels shipped to us to arrive in prior of time.
  4. Photo areas are not unique. However, we designed signs specific to our theme and choose color schemes to match.


Bonus: These photos were then quickly turned into a background loop that was used in the performance of the Meghan Trainor song, “Mom is the Bomb”. People loved the photos and loved seeing themselves up on the big screen. Our team definitely had to scramble to create the loop in time for the moment prior to our first service.  It was worth all the effort.

The day was a win overall and all the elements seamlessly worked together.

We see these “big” days as opportunity, not a burden. Lean in and it can build some momentum for your weekends.


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Grabbing The Heart…

In the midst of our “Explicit Lyrics” series through the Song of Solomon we wanted to highlight the power and celebrate marriages. We know they are not “perfect”, but we felt that song grabbed the element that we wanted to highlight.

So we scrambled, found some different couples and highlighted them throughout the song. This was a technical challenge as we currently have a curved screen that we call “The Womb” which is awesome but difficult to format due to it’s wide format.

So we had to keep that in mind as we shot the actual video moments with our couples and their photos. In order to execute it, we went old school and literally used gaff tape to outline the viewable area on our viewfinder. We then made sure that our couples and their families held the photo and were framed accordingly.

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We double checked this by literally broadcasting live onto our center screen as we recorded each of these individuals. And it turned out well. What a cool moment!

“Perfect” sung by Sam Hancock for our Explicit Lyrics series through the Song of Solomon at The Crossing church in Las Vegas

by Powell Sullivan
© 2017 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Song used with Permission CCS License #9072

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Very. Cool. Moment. Featuring…. The “Meet Cute

Kicking off our series through the Song of Solomon series “Explicit Lyrics” we wanted to also feature a strong moment on the weekend following Easter.

During our programming gathering, we recalled a cool setup moment from the movie “The Holiday” where the idea of a “meet cute” is introduced.  This set up our desired moment perfectly. We then rolled to this classic tune while also featuring classic movie “meet cutes” on our oval center screen behind our vocalist.

Couple notes:

  1. We are able to move this oval screen up and down via motors and so we took the opportunity to bring it to the stage deck in order to give the feel of surrounding our musicians.
  2. Lauren Diaz (The Voice 2016 season) simply killed it on this song and was accompanied simply on the acoustic by Ben Kolarick.

The combination was powerful and not only resonated in the room, but also created quite a buzz via our social media channels.

At Last

Performed by Lauren Diaz, Ben Kolarcik & Matt Biel.

“At Last”
by Mack Gordon Harry Warren
© 1960 Geffen Records

Song used with Permission, CCS License #9072

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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