We have a large room in our church facilities. It used to be the worship center, but when the new auditorium was finished a few years ago, this room became known as the chapel. It’s used for weddings and funerals on occasion and for 1st – 6th Grade Children’s Church on Sundays and our Jr. High and High School worship on Wednesday nights. For the next 12 weeks it will also be used for a special class one of our elders is leading called The Truth Project.
We’ve been talking about how we could use the space more effectively. See, the problem is that the rooom is pretty much a blank/empty room with a cross on the wall and padded pink chairs. Our discussion has basically come to the point of deciding just what the best use of the room will be. It’s blandness makes it usable for all the above mentioned things, but ideal for none. We want to use it to the best of our/its capacity.
One of the options is to turn the room into more of a youth & children’s ministry friendly place. As the youth minister, this idea has some appeal, but when it comes to specifics, I’m not sure how things will play out. When someone says to me, “Here’s a big empty room. What would it look like to make it more ideal for youth ministry?” my mind starts running with ideas that, frankly, scare people.
I don’t want to spruce it up with a new coat of paint – I want to tear out a third of the stage and rebuild a different one in one corner. I don’t want to trade in the pink church chairs for a more youthful color – I want to replace them with living room sets and lounge chairs. (Not mouse infested throw-aways either, btw.) I want to create with our students, a home away from school.
I want to redisign the room to reflect the values and mission of our student ministry. One of our catchphrases that we’ve been floating around the past month or so is “Bringing Students to Life… and Taking Life to Students”. We could make this room a life-giving space. A homey, holy refuge not just for “our kids”, but the students of our community. (Here’s a link to an article I found talking about the theology of this kind of space design… interesting reading if you have a few more minutes.)
I’d appreciate your prayers as we discuss further just what we’re going to do with this room. Whatever we do, may we honor God.