Big Stage on a Small Stage

Jon McKinley brings us this stage design for their church of 50!

They wanted to modernize their stage, but felt discouraged because they are a small church. The sanctuary can seat right around 120, but they only have around 50 in attendance. They had a very tight budget, but were able to buy the materials for under $100 (excluding a few LED lights and projector).

They created the pillars from white fabric purchased at a local fabric store. The side screens were made from luan wood purchased from Lowe’s at $3/sheet. They got it cut for free from the store then painted them white. The stage was painted black and paper lanterns hung for some flavor.

They added a 2700 lumen projector to “fill” the back wall. Great job!

Bonus resource: They purchased their LED lights from a company in China. They were able to purchase 4 LED Par64 for $289. They aren’t brand names but are great for small budgets.

17 responses to Big Stage on a Small Stage

  1. In regards to the back wall, we have since painted the areas the projector didn’t fill black. it makes it look like a screen now.

  2. I think that our new look is amazing! You were able to bring your ideas to fruition on a small budget, but it looks like you spent alot. Way to go guys!

  3. Been many yrs. since i have been to ur church,have many fond memories.Was thier along with my son Bill jr. to help the Pastor move in.PTL

  4. Please in all respects.. Get rid of the flowers!, center table with table the flowers and picture frame, get a modern style pulpit, alter pews.

    • The center table and picture frame was for a memorial service for someone in the church who passed. It’s gone. And we are working on the pulpit…

  5. Jon,
    It can be intimidating to look at all the designs on the CSDI site; which often seems to focus on big, bigger and biggest. In a good way. Use them as starting ideas.
    I want to encourage your vision, heart and design. Way to go with $100 bucks.
    I promise you, with a limited space and budget, there is still a LOT you are able to do. That’s what I do-every week. If you ever want to chat just contact me.
    Keep dreaming!

  6. if you are looking for some cheap non brand name leds, this company has some great ones… their par64’s are 69 dollars, if you call them directly, and their mega panels are 79. we got 11 fixtures for 928 including shipping and tax. 7 mega panels, and 4 par 64’s. works great for background washing, stage washing, and whatever.

  7. What are at the top of the pillars and how are they hanging? Thanks it looks great!

    • Since the roof is angled we made a triangle out of 1x2s so the pillars were level and not at an angle, and then we cut out a piece of luan wood with the same curve as the pillars and drilled the top of the pillars which have a metal pipe in them. So it’s all bolted to the ceiling.

  8. Allon, do you still have the contact information for this company? I have been all over the website and am not able to find a way to contact them. Any help would be appreciated.

  9. This is just awesome for your budget and size! Kudos to you and your church! Keep doing a great job!

  10. great ideas for a small budget and stage. i’m planning to do something similar for our stage redesign next month. thanks for sharing your ideas.

  11. Like to have light company contact. We have a small church too. Need updating bad! Your design looks great!!! Did it increase membership?

    • Hey Barry. We purchased the lights from They are no names from China, but they work well and don’t flicker on camera. As to your question of growth, no it didn’t. We actually had 2 people leave because we painted the stage black. Although, Since we have added stage designs to our world we have grown over time. Do I attribute membership to a cool stage, no. Our look has changed but our message is the same. People stay because God reveals himself to them. We are still a small church. And we accept that. We are just using the gifts and talents we have to give God our best. At the time of this stage we ran about 50 people, and we are currently running 80 on an average week. If everyone showed up it would be around 100.

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