There’s nothing quite like a cool space. Be it a nice house, a trendy restaurant, a unique concert venue, or even a corporate office, great spaces make great impressions as soon as you walk in. That’s what we want to happen in our student spaces, right? We want students to walk into our student environment and go, “Wow!” Not only that, we want them to walk in and sigh with relief because the place they’ve walked into feels safe and comfortable. Imagine the coolest home you can. That’s the feeling we want to create in our student environments.
Now that may be what we want, but the truth is that’s not always the reality. Why? Our budgets get in the way. Our lack of expertise gets in the way. The fact that we have a million other things to do gets in the way. The fact that we share the space with the children’s ministry and the women’s knitting group gets in the way (trust me, I’ve been there). We’re up against a lot!
Creating a cool youth ministry environment is absolutely hard, but there are some hacks that might help you break through in ways you haven’t yet. All of these are things you can do on a low budget to get a big bang for your buck. Don’t believe me? Well, check them out for yourself!
1. Do a car-to-seat walkthrough.
Next time your ministry is meeting, walk outside and walk back in. What do you see? What isn’t cool? What feels out of place? What isn’t clear or inviting? Change it! Start with the low hanging fruit: walls, flooring, and lighting. Do you have children’s ministry stuff all over your walls? Hang some black drapes or create some wood paneling to cover it during your student ministry time. Is your student space super uncomfortable to sit in? Buy some cheap carpet squares and create something cool and comfortable. Is your entrance or stage lackluster? Try throwing some lighting cans out there. Sometimes a little bit of lighting can revolutionize a whole space.
2. Cheat the room.
Does your current attendance fill the room? If not, then cheat it. Use furniture, curtains, or anything else to make it feel When your student space is more full, the room feels cooler, and students feel like it’s a more exciting place to be. Never settle for a half-empty room. Do what you can to make the room feel full so your students feel comfortable.
3. Cater to first-timers.
Don’t let your visiting students feel awkward when they show up for the first time. Make your space the easiest