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Portable Church FAQs Answered: What To Know Before Going Mobile
April 18, 2023

Explore Portable Church FAQs on topics such as costs, consultations, set-up, tear-down, transportation and more to find the answers you need.



Many leaders of multisite and church plants have asked us some great questions, and we believe their insights could be valuable to you as well.

Are you interested in working with Portable Church Industries but are uncertain about where to start? Or maybe you’re a long-time friend who simply wants to know if we can make you some new placards for your custom cases (yes, we can!). 

We have compiled a list of FAQs, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if there’s anything we haven’t covered. We are more than happy to provide you with the answers you need.

To make navigating easy, use the links below to search the FAQs by category. 


Portable Church FAQs Answered: What To Know Before Going Mobile


Cost, Consult & Delivery


What’s the first step for working with you?

Simply book a 20-minute call with us—it’s free and there’s no pressure or commitment. We’re excited to hear about your vision! 

How long will it take to get my portable church system?

In 14 weeks, you should have your system! Certainly, this takes into account the supply chain concerns we are seeing everywhere. 

What is an on-site consultation and do I need one?

A consultation with a specialized team member is a critical step in ensuring that the portable church system you purchase best serves your church’s needs. Certainly, for a complete system, a consultation is necessary.




How much does a system cost?

Every system is custom and there is no flat rate. Of course, once we meet with you and discover your church’s needs, we can discuss costs. The first step is to book a 20-minute call with us. We’d love to connect! 

I see portable items online. What’s the difference between your stuff and what we see for sale on Marketplace or resale sites?

At Portable Church Industries, we offer more than just gear—we provide access to our 27 years of experience serving over 4,000 churches. Whether it’s sharing best practices, providing custom wiring, or creating cases for your equipment, all of these elements are vital to ensuring the success of your launch when partnering with PCI.

Is there a way to do this cheaper? We have people at our church who are willing to volunteer their craftsmanship skills and supplies.

Yes, there are definitely ways to do it cheaper—in the short run. If you want a dependable system that won’t exhaust your volunteers, our custom solutions are the way to go. 

For example, here’s what Jody, Campus Expansion Coach and Campus Pastor at Cypress Church in the Columbus area, had to say about the security our cases provide:

“I have been doing portable church for 15 years in multiple states, in different churches, and in wildly different roles. While brands of AVL gear matter and some gear is better than others, nothing has been more critical to making AVL excellent in my ministry experience than PCI’s design of their cases in every environment— but especially in the AVL world. I’ve done portable AVL without PCI and I will NEVER do it again.”

Although it may be tempting to opt for cheaper alternatives, we hope you take experiences like Jody’s into consideration.

Do you offer financing?

We do not offer financing, but we can recommend trusted companies that are happy to help you with the process. 


Venue & Rental Agreements


Do I need a signage facility agreement?

Yes! This is a best practice, and you should absolutely get your agreement in writing. 

Can you help us consider what we need to include in our rental agreement?

Consider things like snow removal, defibrillator, evacuation route, WIFI, janitor, etc. To get a checklist of things to ask before securing a facility, refer to the Practical Guide To Rental Spaces.

Do I need to know the chosen church plant or multisite venue before we proceed?

Having a venue secured before consultation is a best practice. We design everything to fit where you will be worshiping and hosting your church services.


Custom Solutions & Installation


Do I have to send my gear to you? Can you just install it when you come?

To properly integrate your gear before delivery weekend, it needs to be sent to our Troy, Michigan facility. Therefore, there are some shipping and delivery costs involved, but having the time to prep and test the system will help to ensure a smooth training weekend. 

However, in some situations, it is possible to integrate equipment on-site when it is required. This is generally when the equipment is being used before and up to the delivery. This will require additional days added to the delivery dedicated to the integration, which will add cost to the delivery and travel.

Can I customize my online order of portable gear and equipment?

Since everything is designed and customized to your church’s specific needs, we don’t have any online options for systems. Check out our online store for bistro carts, scuba walls, and more. 

Other businesses need portable solutions. Do you help groups other than churches?

Absolutely, we do help companies.

Can we permanently install some of our equipment?

Yes, and permanently installing it can dramatically cut down your set-up time. However, we would suggest you view it as a donation to the venue, not as something you will likely take with you when you leave. Also, you will need to involve local integrators to handle the installation which PCI will work with on design.

Can I get new placards made for my cases?

Yes, we can work with you on this. Simply contact our office and we’ll hook you up with one of our specialists. 


Transportation & Portability


Can we use our own trailer?

In most scenarios, your trailer is not going to be tall enough to handle our cases since our trailers are a custom height. Often the specs on stock trailers are rated at lower weight tolerances as well. For instance, 8′ and 8.5′ trailers are common, which is too large. Sometimes churches think more space is better, but in most cases, this leads to hassles with dead space in the trailer, like wheel wells. Our trailers are a very tight and clean pack. 

To see it for yourself, check out this video of one of our team members executing a trailer load:

What size truck do we need to tow the trailer?

You’ll need a 1/2 ton for 16′ trailers, and a 3/4 ton for 24′ trailers (both with trailer tow packages). Be sure to match the truck’s capacity to the trailer’s weight rating.

Can I use a box truck?

You can use a box truck but we strongly recommend a trailer purchased from PCI. 


Setup & Volunteer Planning


Should we use classrooms, the cafeteria, or a hallway for setting up our worship service?

Cafeterias and gyms allow for the easiest set-ups and tear-downs. Sometimes classrooms are a good solution if there isn’t a lot of rearranging needed. Hallways are also possible if they are large and secure enough. 

Check out our Before & After gallery to see impressive transformations.

Do backdrops provide a sound barrier between rooms?

No, it doesn’t. You’ll need to find another spot to host a classroom of children or a breakout session. Here are some creative spaces that other portable churches have created to accommodate this need. 

How long will this take to set up?

Plan on one hour with the recommended volunteer team size.

Curious about the duration of a typical portable church set-up? Allow for one hour with a recommended team size of volunteers. Click To Tweet

Why do we have to practice our tear-down on Saturday? 

Trust us, it will make Sunday much easier and—bonus—more enjoyable. We want to make sure your team has a chance to practice a full set-up and tear-down so they have experienced the full process.

How many volunteers do we need to set up?

Usually, we suggest 10% of the campus attendance with more specific information coming on the facility report. 

Team tips: The Ultimate AVL Team Guide


Audio, Visual & Lighting Solutions


Our rental facility said we can use their audio and video system, should we do that to save money?

We rarely recommend using the venue’s audio. If the video set-up is high quality, such as a movie theater (yes!) versus a school auditorium (no). As for lighting, a school auditorium wins our vote, while a movie theater does not, which means you should bring your own in that setting.

Do we need to provide our own graphics or can PCI help with creating them?

We can provide graphic work or work with your existing graphics.

Should we use our venue’s WiFi?

Use your venue’s WiFi only if it’s tested with your system in place without firewalls, etc. Consider access and availability, and bring your own line in if necessary. 

Should we use the same system components at the portable campus as we do at the main campus for training purposes?

Using the same platform or interface makes sense but not necessarily the exact same equipment.

Why is lighting so important in the auditorium?

Lighting is important for any system but becomes particularly critical if you are going to live stream or video record your services. A good video cannot be obtained without strong lighting.

Can you reset my Apple gear?

Unfortunately we can’t help with that request. You’ll need to work with the manufacturer 

How much does an LED wall cost and is it worth it?

If you have the team to handle the setup, an LED wall is a great investment! The cost ranges from 70k-100k at the low end.

How can we know if an LED wall would work in our venue?

If your room has a lot of ambient lighting, maybe. Also consider storage space. But most importantly, you’ll need to have a dedicated team to invest in the set-up since it takes more time than a typical projector and screen.

Do you provide Pro7 licenses and Resi licenses, etc.

You absolutely can purchase your license through us, but we do not service software. 

Can I get new placards made for my cases?

Yes, we can absolutely work with you on this. Simply contact our office and we’ll hook you up with one of our specialists. 



We’d like to see your work in the field. Can you tell us who is using PCI near us?

We can help you find the right channels to start getting connected to churches near you! In the meantime, check out our photo galleries that give you a peek inside the transformations we’ve been a part of creating. 

Have more questions that were not covered here? We’re here to help. Book a 20-minute call with one of our experts today.