Jun 29, 2009

The Power of an Environment

I once heard someone say, "Besides the leaders, the physical environment is the second most important thing in children's ministry."

Some would try to downplay the importance of creating relevant children's environments, but I can personally testify to the power of creating them. I have seen God work through the tool of an inviting children's environment time and time again.

In Springdale, we created Toon Town - attendance went from 300 kids to 600 kids. In Las Vegas, we created Adventure Island, The Fun Factory, and Gear Zone. Attendance went from 800 to 2000 kids in 3 years.

And now at Christ Fellowship, we are preparing to open an awesome new children's environment. In December, we opened Phase 1 which is an indoor park and we are already seeing God do great things.

Yesterday was another example. A mother walked up and shared that she had been trying to get her husband to come to church for 7 years. When we opened the park, he finally agreed to come and play in the park with his son after the service. He has been coming ever since and we are praying for his salvation.

Of course, the physical environment is not what keeps kids and families coming. It's relationships. But...the physical environment is a great tool to get kids and families in the door so you have the opportunity to build a relationship with them. You can't build relationships with empty seats.

No matter your budget, you can do something to enhance your physical environment...even if it's as basic as painting with kid friendly colors.

I can't wait to see what happens when we open the new building. I believe we are in for a great time of growth and life change. Never underestimate the power of the physical environment.

1 comments:

Great encouragement Dale. I totally agree that doing anything makes a huge difference. While it's fun to add the wow factor with big budgets, there's a ton of ideas for all budget levels.

I believe that the kid's ministry space should be our #1 outreach tool. With fun environments and play attractions, churches can host birthday parties that bring in 100's of kids on a weekend. The ideas are unlimited!

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