Wednesday, September 12, 2012

H.S. YOUTH: What's in a youth room?

I've seen some amazing youth rooms.  Some really large churches go all out and have special video game areas, booths that make it look like a restaurant; which is fitting because they have a coffee shop or cafe where kids can get food at a reasonable price.  They have pool tables, large screen tvs with surround sound, and even a stage.  Cool, huh?  When I asked about it I was told that they hoped the kids would come hang out there more often.  Hmmm...  I'd love it if kids hung out at church too but I'm not sure you need all those bells and whistles. 

I've also seen youth rooms that were really small, creatively painted by the youth with Christian murals, had old couches, tiled floors with large pieces of mismatched carpet over them, and were very comfortable.  They didn't have a stage or a coffee shop but kids brought coffee (if they drank it) and somebody usually brought food if they were hungry.  There was a small fridge and a snack cupboard that congregation members would keep stocked.  They might have a tv or a source of music and maybe an old pool or ping-pong table. 

My point is that there is no better or worse youth room.  Would the youth program without the big fancy youth room survive without it?  Yep.  If they're about building relationships they will.  The purpose of a youth room is to provide the kids with a place in the church where they can ponder faith and life issues comfortably.  Music is super important in the life of a teenager so the only really necessary element is a way for them to play and listen to music.  These days that might look like an iPod docking station of some kind. 
It is not the cool youth room that brings kids into the youth group.  It's the cool people!

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