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Ministry Space Critique: Welcoming Environment or Clutter Overload?

Ministry Space Critique: Welcoming Environment or Clutter Overload?

Some tips on how to evaluate your children's ministry and other areas

Summer is busy in the world of kids' ministry. Pastors everywhere are looking at their calendars for the next three months and their weeks are filled with prep time and events. There are lock-ins and camps, movie nights and other outreach events.

Yet even in the midst of this busy time of year, churches are leaning toward an outsider focus more than ever. They are aligning their ministries to be more about the folks outside their walls. Yes, they are still focused on the folks inside their walls, but what does it look like to be more outsider-focused? And how can you use that focus to your advantage to update your facility in simple, inviting ways that will draw in more of your community, and more of its kids?

1. Welcoming Environments

Clutter, piles of untouched stuff, things that you see that make you ask yourselfwhy is that sitting there; how long has that been sitting there? When our calendars are full our "To Do" lists get full as well. We run out of time to take care of the little thingslike clutter and piles. The time we spend with taking care of our environments will impact families greatly. When spaces are neat and organized they look fresh and welcoming. New guests don't feel overwhelmed or overrun by those piles if there are no piles there; clutter-free environments are a welcome sight to outsiders. Your extra effort in this area will help them feel more [like coming into your doors].

2. Signs and Print

In addition church leaders might consider this: Have you looked at your print pieces lately? You are most likely turning out lots of print pieces or [do you] have a great deal of graphics on your website? These pieces and your signs send silent messages to those on the outside. Do the images you use reflect those in your community? Do they appear to be inviting to those you are trying to reach? It is important to allocate enough time to review your signs and print pieces. Maybe have someone outside of our church look them over to see what their thoughts are on the message that is communicated.

3. Colors

I remember when corn gold and avocado green where THE colors. Those colors were everywhere. Seeing those colors today on church walls will send a message to outsidersand that message could be a dated one. Although it is not reasonable to repaint your spaces in the pantone of the year every year, it is necessary to keep your walls fresh and current. Plan out a paint schedule for your ministry areas. Revisit your logo colors and branding. You may need to visit with your creative department or a marketing expert. They can help you make the biggest impact on those you are trying to reach.

Join the conversation. How can you improve your environments for greater impact? What can you do today to make your spaces more outsider-friendly for families and kids? What resources are you using to stay current with trends and design?

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