Sep 15, 2016

How Your Physical Space Impacts Your Children's Ministry


Did you know that your physical space impacts your children's ministry?  Since it can be seen, it has immediate influence on the families who walk into the doors of your church.

Disney is a great example of using physical space to make an impact on families. When you go to a Disney park, nothing you see is the way it is by accident.  It has all been carefully thought through and planned for maximum impact.  From the signage to the buildings to the color schemes to the layout, it's all been designed to contribute to the guest experience. 

Yes...I know...buildings alone don't bring kids and families back...it takes helping people feel loved, connected and cared for.  But...don't underestimate the physical space as a contributor to people's experience at your church.  People's perception of your "where" is a significant part of their overall experience.

The COOLNESS of your physical space impacts your children's ministry.  Whether you have a big budget or small budget, do everything you can with what you've got to make your physical space cool for kids.  Use paint colors that kids think is cool.  Use sign graphics that kids think is cool.  Use decorations that kids think are cool.  Use props that kids think are cool.

I didn't wait until I had a seven figure budget to start making the physical space cool for kids.  Years ago, at a country church I was given the basement for the children's ministry.  It was a plain room with beige walls and brown metal folding chairs.  I had no budget.  But I wasn't going to let that stop me.  I turned it into a clubhouse for kids.  I literally went and got old wood, tree branches, crates and more and make it look like a kid's clubhouse.  The kids loved it and we begin to grow.

Whatever God has placed in your hand at this time, use it to bring coolness to your physical space.

The CLEANLINESS of your physical space impacts your children's ministry.  Disney has a great saying - "Everything speaks."  That means that everything people see in your physical space either speaks positively or negatively about your ministry.  When parents drop off their kids, they notice whether or not the physical space is clean.  When your volunteers serve, they notice whether the physical space is well organized or not.  When guests pull onto your property, the cleanliness of your physical space sends a message to them.  Even when people enter your bathrooms, it speaks volumes about your commitment to excellence.  What is your physical space saying?

The CONVENIENCE of your physical space impacts your children's ministry.  The way your drop-off and pick-up is designed impacts your children's ministry.  Where your parking is in relation to your preschool area impacts your children's ministry.  Where first-time guest check-in is located impacts your children's ministry.

Spend time watching and evaluating how your physical space is designed.  Is it convenient and easy for families?  What can you change to make it more convenient?  What can you adjust to make the traffic flow better?  What can you tweak to make it quicker for new families to check-in?

What kind of impact is your physical space currently having on your ministry?  Is it what you want?   Is it time for some updates?  Is it time for a new coat of paint?  Is it time to knock down a wall?  Is it time to move some classes?  Is it time to bring in new signage?  Is it time to put up some new theming?

Decide today to start the process.  And if you're looking for some help with theming, check out these amazing companies.

Worlds of Wow
Wacky World Studios
Little Mountain Productions 
Plain Joe Studios
Jonathan Martin Creative
Creative for Kids 
 

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