Tuesday, January 29, 2013

LEADERSHIP: Decorating or painting the youth room.

A lot of churches have a youth room.  It usually has furniture that's more comfortable than the usual tables and chairs in most education rooms and is designed to make the kids feel more at home.  Hopefully they'll want to hang out and have meaningful conversations which will deepen their faith.

I've seen rooms that have been painted black or other very dark colors, the kids have been allowed to draw and paint murals (some great and some terrible).  The problem is that painting over some of those black or dark colored walls and murals can be VERY difficult and there's no real reason to give the youth free reign or unlimited choices to paint or decorate their space.  Nobody comes to church because of the paint on the wall and there's no reason not to teach the kids to treat the building  with respect.

So, try this.  The youth room walls can be the same color as any other room if you want, but you can give the kids a chance to be creative and personalize the room by putting up some wood railings (see my picture) and letting the kids paint wooden plaques to be attached to the rails.  When kids graduate they can easily be removed, their friends can sign the back and they can take them to college. I suggest some guidelines:

  • The only wood allowed is the wood provided. Nobody can bring in a piece of wood they found in the garage or a huge piece of plywood. 
  • Sizes of plaques will be determined by the adults with the help of the size of the room. Various sizes can look cool.
  • If you don't have somebody who can cut the wood to your chosen sizes, let Home Depot, Lowe's, or Menards do it for you. The plaques you find at Michael's or Hobby Lobby are usually too small, but check them out. 
  • Allow kids to work together with a friend or two to design their plaque. 
  • All plaques must somehow show their faith. 
  • Words and pictures are allowed. 
  • Draft designs on paper must be approved by an adult.

I think you'll find many of the kids will love this, but there are always a few who bring something kind of... well... creepy. Encourage them to try again or maybe work with somebody. Not everyone has to do one, but the ones who don't are separating themselves from the group.

It's not the cool room that keeps kids coming to church.  
It's the cool people!

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