Is This the Kid's Ministry Room of the Future?

The way your children's ministry rooms are furnished and positioned plays a big factor in the experience you create for kids.

Many children's ministries still follow the outdated model of putting kids in rows of chairs.  This is part of the lingering effects of a bygone industrial age where kids were all taught the same way using the same method so they would march in line from the classroom straight into an assembly line at a factor when they graduated.

Are your ministry rooms still following this outdated model?  If so, you may want to consider rearranging your space which means you would need to rearrange the way you communicate with the kids.  Rows of chairs are the perfect setting for lecture-based learning where the teacher stands and downloads information.  In short, the teacher is a talking head.  The problem...that's the least effective way for kids to matter how "good" your communicators are.

Take a peak inside today's innovative classrooms (the church usually drags its feet several years behind the education world) and you'll see kids sprawled on ottomans, sitting on bouncy seats, lounging on couches, lying back on gamer-style recliners and using footstools as desks.  Rather than feeling like you're in a classroom with rows of chairs, you get the feeling you're in a living room or neighborhood coffee shop.

Those who have switched to this layout say kids enjoy being in that environment much more.  They say kids love it and it has changed their behavior and attitude toward learning.  They come in excited, ready to learn each day.  The flexible seating lines up with modern, 21st-century learning styles.  Kids learn by talking with peers, asking questions and sharing discoveries.  Kids get to choose where they want to sit.  And if they need to get up, walk around or choose a different seat, they are free to do so.  Teachers are finding that behavior issues have been reduced to a minimum in this model as well.

What will the kid's ministry space of the future look like?  If trends continue, it may look like a Starbuck's coffee shop.  The question is, will you be on the cutting edge of this or a late adopter?  If you're currently designing or remodeling your children's ministry space, you may want to consider this model.  The future is now.

Your turn.  The floor is yours.  Are you already using a model like this?  What do you think about this model?  Do you think children's ministries will gradually move toward this?  What are the pros and cons you see?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.