It all has to fit – computers, power cords, stage sets, LED walls and sometimes more random items like hula hoops and shark costumes – in order to bring unforgettable experiences with God to students across the country. This behind-the-scenes “game” is always taken seriously – from the first brainstorming meeting to talk about stage elements, to all of CIY’s other age-intentional moments.
"We have a lot of toys we get to play with … but they’re tools.
I never knew playing the “Tetris” video game as a kid would eventually help me with my Kingdom work.
The production team is comprised of 10 full-time employees and lots of contract workers during tour seasons, all of whom specialize in creating stage pieces, testing games and making sure equipment is in working order. And all of that preparation is done with excellence so that we create an atmosphere in which students will clearly hear Christ’s call on their lives. That includes the most sincere moments at an event – moments in which students consider a life of Kingdom work. It also includes wacky moments, such as what takes place in MIX’s Outer Realm games that lead to middle schoolers rolling with laughter.
All of those moments require months of planning and building and packing ahead of time. Everything we build has to be able to travel – that’s the trickiest part. We have to think about the way we’re going to transport everything before we even build it. We’re conscious of weight of the materials we use, and we’re conscious of the time it takes to recreate those stage elements at each venue.
A day in the life of a production crew member at CIY can be loud, it can be bright – it can be a lot of things. We have a lot of toys we get to play with, but they’re tools. One day we might be counting cables, creating foam machines, setting up inflatables or figuring out how to make a lot of bubbles really fast. Currently, we’re working on an illusionist’s smoke chamber and an “American Ninja Warrior” obstacle course. We do all sorts of crazy things.
Kevin Behnke is the production logistics director for Christ In Youth. Learn more about what’s coming to the stage this year for CIY’s weekend events, Believe and SuperStart, in the latest issue of the Kingdom Worker Connection magazine.