The United States of StageDrop is a series highlighting customer success stories from a different state each week. This week's United States of StageDrop features the First State, Delaware!
“Look, love and lead like Jesus” - this is the mission of Christ Community Church (C3) of Wilmington, Delaware. C3 is a nondenominational Bible-based community church that meets at the Thomas McKean High School on the western edge of Wilmington near Hockessin.
Founded in 1995, C3 evolved out of Pastor John Nelson’s desire to create a new kind of church - without any denominational restrictions or ties to traditional strategies - dedicated to reaching people who had lost touch with God. Pastor Nelson and fellow organizers rented the cafeteria of a local elementary school for C3’s grand opening in October 1995, and the church has grown steadily in membership and reach ever since, inviting all to “come as you are.” C3 has always met at local schools over the years; in 2015 they moved to their current meeting place, McKean High School.
Setting the Stage
C3 began using McKean High School’s auditorium and lobby for its weekly services and special events. Like most high school auditoriums, McKean’s auditorium has a magnificent built-in stage that can accommodate large groups of students for concerts and drama performances, but C3 wanted to create a more personal feel for its worship services.
“It was about how do we make it feel not like a school on Sunday morning,” says Carrie Bartkowski, C3 Director of Operations. “The pastor didn’t want to be standing on the school stage. When he was preaching, he wanted to be more relatable, but he couldn’t stand on the floor because then people couldn’t necessarily see him.” The church decided to purchase a portable stage to place at a lower height - closer to the audience - in front of the built-in stage. Pastor Nelson called StageDrop for help in choosing the right portable stage system.
Taking the Stage
After discussing their needs with our sales team, C3 purchased 10 ProFlex 4'x8' Portable Stage Units from StageDrop, along with stairs, skirting and a storage cart. ProFlex Staging is a height-adjustable portable stage system constructed of strong, yet lightweight 4'x8' aluminum platforms and telescoping legs. Its modular nature allows you to simply combine multiple platforms together to create the exact size stage you need. C3 also purchased ProFlex telescoping legs in two height ranges, giving them the ability to set each stage platform to any height from 20" to 51" tall.
C3 has found many uses for its new stage. For their regular worship services, they set up the stage in a T-shape, using 4 platforms to create an 8'x16' stage for the praise band, with an extra 4'x8' platform in front for the pastor. They set the stage height to 24" to allow them to be closer to the audience.
For children’s ministry activities like "Kids Take Over Sunday" and holiday performances, the church sets up 4 platforms in a long line to create a 4' deep by 32' wide lower tier in front of the built-in stage, so there’s plenty of room on the two levels for every child to be visible to the audience.
Sharing the Stage
The high school has also benefited from C3’s portable stage. C3 generously allows the school to use their portable stage anytime they need it. The stage usually stays set up in the auditorium during the week, and the school often incorporates the smaller stage into their events, from awards ceremonies to music and drama productions to community functions. The high school also provides a closet for storage of the stage when needed.
Bartkowski says the ProFlex stage system they purchased from StageDrop is easy to set up, which in turn makes it easy to train staff and volunteers from both the church and the school on how to assemble it and break it down. “They can walk people through it very quickly,” she says. “Once they show them how to set up one leg, they can do them all.”
“We love the stage,” Bartkowski continues. “Whether it’s a children’s Sunday or when we do baby dedications, we’ll add panels and move them around so we can get the families up there. But it’s always great that it can adjust to what we need. We try to be a creatively minded team, and it’s great that that stage allows us to be really creative, because there’s not a lot of limitations.”
“We love the stage … it’s always great that it can adjust to what we need. We try to be a creatively minded team, and it’s great that that stage allows us to be really creative, because there’s not a lot of limitations.”
CARRIE BARTKOWSKI, C3 DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
C3’s creatively minded team was put to the test last March, when COVID-19 forced the closure of Delaware schools, which included the church’s meeting venue. C3 made the transition to virtual worship services and has incorporated several creative ministry ideas - like virtual nature walks, Wednesday worship and prayer services, and a card ministry - to keep members connected and engaged. Just last week, they led their first in-person worship service since March, held outdoors at a local community pool. The church and their members, however, are eager to return to their space at McKean High School when safety and accessibility allow.
StageDrop would like to thank Christ Community Church (C3) for their business and for allowing us to highlight their church, representing Delaware in this week's United States of StageDrop. We wish them and their congregation all the best.
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Based at the Jersey Shore in Forked River, NJ, StageDrop LLC is a leading provider of stock and custom portable stage systems, stage accessories, truss and event furniture to businesses and consumers nationwide. We specialize in delivering custom stage configurations for business, government, education, religious, fitness and nonprofit organizations. We offer free quotes with expert recommendations to fit our customers' specialized needs.