Should You Trigger Your Church’s Lighting From Stage or From The Booth?

Aug 09, 2023

When it comes to lighting in the church, I believe this is the area that has the most potential in bringing your service to the next level.

There are so many different options available when it comes to running lighting such as from the stage, from the tech booth, automated, or to not have anyone run it at all.

Which approach will work best for your current setup? We will discuss the pros and cons of each method to see which one will work best for you.

The biggest challenge I hear when it comes to church lighting is that is a challenge to find volunteers that are both artistic and technical.

Normally, you can find someone with a musical background and is great with audio so you move them to audio.

Finding someone to run the slides is another position that is easier to fill. But actually finding a person that is technical but also creative can be hard to find for running stage lights.

In many smaller churches, it just doesn’t make sense to have a dedicated lighting volunteer. Instead, let’s take a look at how we can run things with or without that dedicated volunteer – there are (3) main ways to do this:

Running Lights from Stage

Churches that are more mid-sized most likely have a worship leader that is also considered the “Tech Director”. In this case scenario, it’s most likely that the worship pastor is the one designing and setting up the lights for the service.

With that, the ability to run lights from the stage may be very ideal. One of the programs we highly recommend to run lights from the stage is ENTTEC DMXIS. With this, you can program and trigger the lights with a foot pedal. It’s very easy to learn and a great program to work with.

Automate Lights from the Stage

The next level up is automating your lights from the stage. Regardless of most lighting controllers you can go in and be able to set up backing tracks. With backing tracks, it is definitely easier to be able to set the lights to run automatically.

If your console doesn’t have backing tracks, it is still possible to be able to set the lights to run automatically of you have a lyrics program such as Pro-Presenter, Proclaim, and so on,

The reason why I say this is possible is that you might be able to unlock MIDI output and you can use MIDI to trigger and send out commands from your slides that fire specific lighting scenes.

If this is a method you choose to go with, you will need someone that does have an understanding of how these pieces are able to work together. There will be time involved in programming the lights and setting everything up each week.

Running Lights from the Booth

Running lights from the booth are when you have a dedicated volunteer in the tech booth that triggers the lights.

This approach is ideal when you have a larger number of attendees and are able to recruit volunteers to help with the tech and sound.

This is a great option that will help your worship pastor or tech director not need to spend as much time programming and setting up the lights each week.

There will be some training involved beforehand but in the long run, is a great time saver for your team.


Which method is right for you? I hope this article and video have helped you to begin figuring out the BEST method for YOUR church.


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