A website that offers portable church packages was recommended to me recently. It seemed great initially, but then I realized the high price they charged for their ” Mobile Church” packages. I thought to myself. I knew there had to be a better way.
There is. My years of experience in church planting and my knowledge of how to deliver a service to the church led me to create a guide for DIY and “do it yourself” to mobile church equipment.
A mobile church setup doesn’t need to cost more than 25 grand. This is the price one company charged for their smallest system. Knowing what equipment is needed and where it can be found is all that is required.
This is how I made it easy for you. I will give you a detailed list, along with all the Amazon links that you can use to order the equipment and have it delivered to your door. You can have everything you need for a portable church in a matter of days, sometimes even less.
My Experience with Planting
In my lifetime, I have planted three churches. I also resurrected another church that was a transplant. Never have I ever had 25 000 dollars to give someone for equipment.
My first church gave me a budget of 12,000 dollars for the first year. Rent, utilities, and any other expenses were included. This isn’t even close to what portable church providers are asking for in their so-called packages.
My second church was founded with just 3,000 dollars. It was only 3,000 dollars. Let me share my knowledge of planting and equipping your campus church or church. I hope you find my advice helpful in helping you to be a wise steward of the funds God has given you for church.
Mobile Church Solutions
Packages for Professionals
If you have a lot of money and someone is willing to finance you, you might consider professional portable church packages. It’s easy, and you don’t even have to think about the details. The package includes the trailer, stage and sound system, and all other necessary components for a mobile church. However, you do so at a price.
If you feel so, do it. They are often a hit with some people. For me, however, this amount of money was not available. Even if it were, I would prefer to invest it in outreach and building the church rather than buying shiny equipment.
Build Your Own Mobile Setup
It makes sense for me to create my own mobile church package, and this guide will help you. You’ll save money. You won’t have to buy equipment that you don’t need. You’ll understand how everything works together. This makes everything make a lot more sense.
Let’s go on a journey together, and we will create a portable equipment plan for your church that will allow you to put together all the equipment necessary to begin doing what God has called us to do: expanding His kingdom through our church.
Plan of Action for Portable Devices
You must first consider your equipment requirements and how they affect different aspects of your setup and tear down. It is best to avoid putting together any system and searching Craigslist for used equipment. Although it may seem cheaper, it is not sustainable. It will cause you more headaches than it’s worth.
First, make it as simple as possible for volunteers. Many people who volunteer to set up or tear down equipment for your church are not experienced.
This means that you need to make it as easy as possible. Volunteers will feel more burdened if they need to connect and learn new equipment.
This is why I recommend easy-to-set up products over high quality or the latest trend. It is not what you want to be the only person setting up the church each Sunday.
First, I recommend that you cut all cables where you can. Running all the cables is one of the most difficult and confusing aspects of setting up a mobile church.
Many cables run from the microphone to the soundboard. The cables run from there to the power amplifier. The cables run from the speakers to the power amp. Finally, the cables connect your computers to your flat-screen monitors or video projector. It is difficult to hook up cables.
Wireless technology can eliminate all frustration and time. You will find out how to do this in the article.
Transport and storage
You should also consider where and how you will store your equipment. You will have different storage needs if you have it on-site than if your gear must be packed up and stored somewhere else.
You will also need to keep your equipment safe in extreme temperatures. Your gear is not safe from extreme heat or cold.
You may also need a utility truck or a storage unit if you don’t have enough storage space.
Mobility and safety
You should also consider how you plan to transport your equipment and how you will protect it.
Equipment carts and equipment cases are essential. Equipment carts can be used to move your equipment around to the right place. If the equipment is to be used on the stage, you will need one cart and another cart for the equipment behind the mixer and computers.
This is true even if you have a portable children’s ministry and a mobile welcome table.
Equipment for Portable Use
Below is a list of equipment that you will need. You will find a link at the end to download a PDF of the list for offline use.
|SOUND SYSTEM||MULTIMEDIA||STAGE||WELCOME TABLE||MINISTRY FOR CHILDREN|
|Microphones||Projector||Stage Backdrop||Brochure Holders||Paging System|
|Speakers||Screen||Stage banners||Gift bags||Video Player|
|Monitors||Flat Screen Monitor||Pulpit||Stock||Monitor|
A PDF download contains a handy list of all the items.
Portable Sound System For Church
While I strongly recommend wireless sound systems, I understand that some people may not be able to afford them. If this is the case, I recommend all-in-one portable audio systems.
I don’t recommend the cheapest. Reliable ones at a fair price are recommended by reliable manufacturers I have grown to trust over time. You won’t get the same professional sound quality as you would at a megachurch. These systems will provide good sound for a reasonable price.
Mobile PA System Packages
The Fender Passport
Fender Passport Event Series 2
All-In-One PA System
Fender Passport is an all-in-one, small-sized PA system. Five channels are available, which can be used to record vocals, a guitar, or a keyboard. This isn’t a lot, but it is enough for those who are just starting out. The package includes the mixer, speakers, stands, and several cables.
The Yamaha STAGEPAS 1k Portable PA Systems
Yamaha Portable PA System Stagepas 1k
Compact And Lightweight
The Yamaha portable sound system can handle more instruments and vocalists than any other portable system. The Yamaha portable sound system features a 10-channel mixer with speakers and stands. It also has all the Yamaha quality you are used to. You will also find a feedback suppressor as well as a quality EQ.
Mixer Analog or Digital
There are many opinions on which mixer is best, digital or analog. Portable church systems are not the best, but they are the most simple to set up and operate.
A digital mixer is a great choice if you have the budget. Once you turn on the power, your entire setup will be complete. You don’t need to do a long soundcheck. All of your sound settings can be programmed once and stored in the mixer.
This can reduce your setup time by as much as 30 to 40 minutes each Sunday.
Again, I recommend going wireless with your mics. If you need corded mics or prefer to use one of the portable PA systems I suggested above, I recommend the Shure SM58, an industry-standard standard workhorse.
The SM-58 has been the industry standard for years regarding reliability and overall use. This microphone is great for both speaking and vocal use. This mic is a great choice.
There are many options for wireless microphones. I wrote a detailed article about wireless microphones for vocals, lapel mics, and headset mics. You should read the article to determine which mic system is best for you.
A wireless monitoring system is what I recommend again. If you don’t want to use wireless in-ear monitors, I recommend the Kustom Powered Monitor Speaker. These are standard-powered floor monitors. To give sound to your musicians, you can use one or more.
If you prefer to be light and wireless, you might consider wireless in-ear monitoring.
A power amp is what powers the speakers in a traditional sound system. For portable systems, I recommend powered speakers. This will make it easier to set up and maintain. You will have fewer cables to run and fewer parts of setting up, which means that your volunteers will be more productive.
Here are a few powered speakers that I recommend. These speakers are not cheap, but they come from well-respected brands in the pro sound market.
The Mackie Thump15 1000W 15’’ Powered Loudspeakers
Perfect For Mobile Applications
Mackie has a reputation for producing high-quality sound products at affordable prices. My church has a Mackie mixer. This mixer is great and has many features. You can use the Mackie speakers to power your portable church with 1,000 watts. You could fill small venues with your music with that much sound power.
A digital snake such as the Behringer might be a good option if you want to go wireless but still have some instruments plugged into it. A digital mixer eliminates all cables that run from the stage to the soundboard and replaces them with one Cat 5 cable. The digital snake connects to your instruments and microphones and sends the signals to both the soundboard as well as the soundboard signals back to it.
This works best if you have a digital mixer. However, it will also work well with an analog soundboard.
Other wireless options
You may also need to purchase wireless instrument transmitters to complete your portable wireless church setup. These are used to transmit signals from your keyboards and guitars to the soundboard and then carry the mixed signal to your speakers.
These options might also be worth considering.
- Church Translation Systems are available for those who don’t speak the language you use.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all churches have Assisted Hearing Systems.
Protect your equipment with a sturdy rack mount and case. You can ensure that your sound equipment is protected and not left behind. This makes it easier to pack and unpack. All your stuff can fit in the cases.
Portable Multimedia Systems for Church
The sound equipment is just one part of creating a mobile church package. Next, you must decide on the type of multimedia ministry you will provide to your congregation. Before you begin assembling your video equipment, here are some questions.
- Do you plan to project the song lyrics onto a screen or monitor?
- Do you plan to make video announcements in the future?
- Are you going to live stream your services?
Depending on the answers to these questions, you may need some or all of the equipment I will discuss below.
At least one computer is required. A laptop is the best choice for a portable church project. It’s smaller and easier to set up. It is about simplicity and saving time.
Although I did not research laptops for multimedia, I did write an article about desktop computers for multimedia. There are some tips I share that can help you purchase a laptop. A decent laptop should cost you around $500.00 and will be able to run your multimedia ministry.
First, you must decide how you want to present your multimedia ministry. This article will provide insight into choosing between flat-screen monitors or projection systems for stationary churches.
Flat screens are not ideal for a portable church because they can be fragile and difficult to transport.
You will need one or two projectors depending on the space and shape of your room. If you choose to display your multimedia ministry through projection,
I have published an article on projectors suitable for small and medium-sized churches. This article will give you many helpful tips for choosing the right projector to fit your portable church setup.
Flat Screen Monitors
Flat-screen monitors are a great option if you have made a decision to go flat-screen or have learned how to transport them safely. This article should provide useful tips for choosing the right monitor to fit your portable church setup.
You can save money by using the carts you use to move your equipment as stands for your monitors. Be sure to measure the distance between the screen and the last row of seats in the meeting.
You’ll need at least one screen if you plan to use a projector. These screens are less than $100.00 at Amazon.
You should ensure you have enough space to see the screen from the back. How to determine how large a screen you need. This article can be found here. This article will show you how to create smaller screens that work in a pinch.
You can stream live streaming. For a mobile church setup, it is not required. It is an excellent idea.
I highly recommend you start a live-streaming ministry if you’re a new church plant. My first church plant had 50% of its members from the video ministry broadcast via cable access. You have the same chance with live streaming.
Live streaming can be started with a simple tripod and a cell phone. However, I recommend that you upgrade as soon as possible to an actual streaming system.
The equipment is relatively inexpensive, and a mobile church’s benefits are far more important than the price.
Portable Stages for Churches
Some halls have stages, such as theaters and school auditoriums. You will need portable staging if you don’t have a stage. Warning! These can be expensive so it is worth considering when you decide where to meet.
Portable stages come in many sizes and shapes. There are three basic shapes: semi-circles, wedge triangles, and rectangular. You can also find them in different heights. A small, portable stage can cost as high as $2.000.00
Design of a Portable Stage
A picture is worth 1000 words, they say. In stage design, this is also true. You can still plan for the essentials.
Your PA speakers should be placed at the ends of each stage. Your monitors should be placed near the musicians or vocalists. If they are the leader of your group, keep your musicians near your vocalists.
Place your bass guitarist next to the drummer and all guitarists and keyboardists together.
If your room is large, you can place your projection screens along one side of the stage. If the room is narrow, you can place them in the middle of the stage.
A stage backdrop should be placed at the back of your stage. Stage banners should be placed right in front of it.
Portable Stage Backdrops
These backdrops are very affordable. These backdrops can be purchased from Amazon for as low as $50.00. This is a great investment in your portable church.
There is nothing uglier than a wall with doors or plain walls. Trust me, I know. While preaching, I used to use a gym that featured old jerseys from former high school football players.
Banners for Church Stage
For events such as Easter or Christmas, you can put beautiful church banners onto your stage. We have banners that represent the Holy Spirit in our church. These banners can add visual interest to your mobile church setup.
Setting up and taking down the portable church and banner stands is simple.
Portable Equipment for Children’s Ministry
You will need a children’s minister cart to make a portable children’s ministry. You must convert an AV cart into a portable children’s ministry center. This will allow your children’s workers to simply roll all the items they need into the area they are holding the children’s ministry.
You should include…
- Flat-screen TV
- A video player on a laptop computer.
- To notify parents in the sanctuary of any emergency, a children’s church paging device is used.
- All supplies can be stored in plastic containers
- Sunday school curriculum, or Children’s Church material.
- An AV Cart
Ask your Sunday School teachers and Children’s Church workers about the services they need to provide for their children.
Portable Welcome Center
A portable welcome center is the same. An AV cart such as this can be used. It folds up into a tabletop, and offers a place to put a keyboard.
You can add a skirt to the front to make it look less spartan.
It will need to be equipped with …..
- Brochure Holder and Brochure
- Visitor gift bags
- Other supplies like pens, name tags, etc.
- You can also use the cart I mentioned above.
It may be worthwhile to add a laptop computer to your equipment so that you can keep track of attendance and gather visitor information for future follow-up contact.
Put Your Mobile Church Together
Even though your mobile church may not look exactly like this one, it is still important to put it together.
Once you have assembled all the necessary supplies for your mobile church, pack everything up and place it in a container.
For audiovisual equipment, you can use plastic containers, hardshell instrument cases, and hardshell cases. You can even color code the containers or number them, then mark each piece with colored tape corresponding to the container or case they are in.
Your mobile church should be able to be packed up and ready for transport. This will save you both time and money in the long term.
That’s it. Let me know if you have any questions. You will save thousands on equipment and labor hours to set up and dismantle your mobile church.