One of the things I’ve done in my first year of ministry is create new atmospheres to do minstry within with our youth. Funny thing the adults use the space a lot as well. I think the tacit assumption in churches is that aesthetics don’t matter that much but I think they play a part in how we extend and nurture a welcoming environment to those who visit and those who stay and grow.
Our creativity with our spaces says a lot about how we value culture-making to borrow a phrase from Crouch, and in that evaluation how we “tend our gardens” as our pre-fall parents tended theirs. So far I’ve re-designed two rooms in our warehouse. Yes that’s right I said warehouse. We’ve leased a warehouse to meet in so its pretty much dry walls, paint and a few decor pieces to make it work. We have an interior decorating team that does a great job making the space feel friendly and seasonal. Even a warehouse can be beautified to the glory of God.
Below are the two rooms I created: the first one I had some help from my summer intern who’s the bassist for “Becoming the Achetype” a death metal band; the second one I put together a team of co-creative youths and they did an awesome job with color choices, the accent wall idea, as well as some of the decor.
Room One: We use this room for our nursing moms during the main service (oh yeah nursing in sytle! and no I wasn’t created it JUST FOR MY BABY GIRL CALI); our Sunday night senior high girls small group; as well as their mid-week discipleship group.
Room Two: We use this room for our 6-10th grade class on Sunday mornings called “Tolle, Lego”; we also use it for small group breakouts for our senior high guys; as well as mid-week senior high guy discipleship times.
Creative space can’t replace theological and biblical depth in teaching but I’ve found that it does help our teens open up and feel at home. If you notice the pictures in room two are of them. Its “there space” and that makes a huge difference. And the space is filled with bright colors and solids with designs side by side as a way of saying in an aesthetic fasion, “we value diversity as well as unity.” Ok maybe that’s taking it a bit far. Anyway if you’re into this sort of thing I’d love to see your creations, comment chain a link to it…