Theatres of one kind or another have long played a role in the growth of Christ Community Church. Just before Christmas 1984, the suburban Chicago church, which was founded by four couples, held its first service in a rented movie theatre. Christ Community has since grown into a thriving four-campus house of worship that draws 5,000 people to its weekend services.
However, a theatre, albeit of a different kind, still occupies an important spot in the church’s mission. Over the past decade, Christ Community has been successfully engaging young people with its Hub Theatre, a student ministry meeting and worship area on its original St. Charles Campus. Recently, the church took steps to make this space more relevant to teens by updating its lighting system with all-new Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by JR Lighting Design of Tinley Park, IL.
“We had been in the space for about a decade, and our current rig was becoming outdated,” said Nick Sheetz, the church’s Technical Director. “We wanted to upgrade the lighting with a rig that would give us a lot of flexibility to change our looks and create different environments. Flexibility was critical, as this room is utilised for a variety of different events, all with a different feel and style.”
Sheetz connected with Jason Reberski, owner of JR Lighting Design, who put together an all-Chauvet rig for the church. “Jason came along and helped us decide on what specific fixtures we were going to go with,” he said. “We also got a lot of help from Jason in expediting this project. It wasn’t until the last minute that we learned we could pull the trigger on a new lighting system. Jason was able to facilitate us getting the gear in only three days. This was essential, since we had only seven days to install the rig.”
Included in that new rig are six STRIKE 4 multi formatted fixtures, 10 COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tours, 10 Rogue R2 Washes and four Rogue RH1 Hybrids. This collection of fixtures gives Christ Community Church a wide range of options when it comes to lighting the Hub Theatre. Using the high output STRIKE 4 units as blinders, and drawing on the zoom features, gobo capabilities and rapid pan/tilt movement of the Rogue fixtures, the church is able to create high octane concert-style looks that resonate with young people.
At the same time, the fixtures are also able to wash the stage in warm whites or a rich array of colours for more reflective moments. The zooming capabilities of the COLORado 2-Quad Zoom fixtures have also given the church the capability to change looks to fit different types of events.
For his part, Sheetz is happy to be able to draw on the versatile capabilities of the fixtures in his rig. “The zoom feature on the COLORado fixtures has been huge,” he said. “It’s so nice to be able to use the same fixture to get a good even wash on our stage for one look, then to get a really beamy look at another time. We also love the variety of uses the RH1 Hybrids have. We can create so many different looks with just those four fixtures. The pixel mapping on the R2 Washes is also something we use very frequently.”
Sheetz expands the flexibility of his rig further by flying roughly half of the fixtures on truss and positioning the remainder on the stage, so they can be rearranged depending on the event. “Everyone raves about how easy it is to quickly create a diverse set of looks/environments,” he said. “The fixtures have gone a long way to increasing the production value of the space, especially in our concert events. Serving young people, we have to be versatile – and this rig greatly expands our capabilities in this regard.”