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NYWC Notes

This post is part of a series from notes taken during YS’s NYWC.

Seminar : Youth Group Spaces : Marv Penner

God seems to recognize the value of well-crafted space. Throughout history the church has always taken seriously the responsibility to create space in keeping with intended purposes. Educational research indicates that when care is given to designing good space, learning increases.

If you want to know who a kid is, all you need to do is take a look at their room - their identity is usually obvious.

Q: What does your youth room tell kids who visit about who you are trying to be?

Good youth space does not equal big, does not equal expensive, does not equal effective youth ministry.

Well designed youth ministry space…
…expresses “Welcome! We’re glad you’re here.” (teens are not spiritually responsive until they’re socially comfortable)
…we understand adolescent development & youth culture
…gives ownership & belonging. “this is our space”
…communicates value placed on kids
…creates context for outcomes

What are some practical space implications…
…to reach large group with no church connection?
…to develop strong sense of community?
…for use with multiple age groups?

Important Considerations in Youth Ministry Facility Planning
- Existing Space or New Space
- Exclusive Use or Shared Space
- Multiple Purpose Potential
- Separate Access
- Durability (idea: plywood behind drywall)
- Expandability
- Storage
- Office Access
- Food Services
- Seating (collapsible camp chairs, XL t-shirts sewn & stuffed for pillows)
- Electrical, Lighting, Projection, Sound (switching options - not just one switch)
- Delivery Doors (size, location)
- Restrooms, Showers
…and most importantly…
Compatibility with stated purposes, mission, & vision.

- fun
- connected to ministry space?
- safe (open to others, not in compromising situation)

Decorating Ideas
- Kids have hand in room (ownership)
- Chair rail with pictures (boards w/ plexi-glass cover)
- Black ceiling
- Ceiling tiles wrapped in event t-shirts.
- Games (foosball, pool, ping-pong, video, air hockey)
- “Create-A-Stage” (pipe legs, flange to bottom of boards)
- Table Painted with chalkboard paint
- Screen-Goo (paint on screen)

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