This seems to be a popular topic right now. I am not sure if it is because we in the “Budget” creating times of the year or if we are all re-evaluating our rooms/spaces that we meet in. I am a big fan of “cheap cool” as well as the big budget items that some churches have the blessing to use. Here are a few ideas that I have used in the past as well as some spaces that some friends of mine have been able to pull off. Get creative and use materials that appeal to the students. I highly recommend having the students involved in the planning and installation of any changes you may make. So here is a visual montage of some great Ideas that I have seen or been a part of. Please comment if you have visited this part of the blog…thanks, Dustin
In this pic you see what our “stage” looks like. The large letters with the lights are just 4×8 sheets of plywood with 188 “clip in” light sockets and 40w clear bulbs. Looked great attached to a dimmer pack. No limits to what you can do with plywood, just drill a hole and the sockets just clip in. I would recommend a spot of liquid nails to secure them (as per engineer Ward S.) have fun!
Some guys have some room for “prayer walls” and/or walls that students can constantly change and write on. Sharpies and crayons…remember to check the wall regularly to make sure some knucklhead hasn’t “tagged” with something inappropriate. I occasionally put extra photos that we have or use the wall as a time to put your favorite verses on and prayer requests.
One of the exciting thing about networking with other youth pastors is the times when you can rejoice with them as they get blessed with great facilities. My friend Scotty J. was able to design and have tremendous input into his new metal building for their student ministry. Take a look at some of the ideas that he incorporated. Very nice, I spoke at a D-Now (Disciple Now Event) in February and was amazed at how well it turned out.
An Idea we used for the north-end of our upstairs game room was to put galvenized roofing steel up on the walls. There was pool table there when I arrived at the church and I got tired of repairing the sheet rock that was damaged with pool balls and cues, so with a minimum investment of $200+/-, we gave it a face-lift and now have no more dings in the walls to patch. I am not sure I would advise putting sheet rock up anywhere near my students in the future. I trimmed out the edge with 1×2 furring strips and then horizontally every three feet or so for support. Once the steel was attached with self-tapping screws, I had some 2″ flat steel cut to use as a black boarder. 1″ angle to “cap” the ends. 2″ pipe in the corners for looks and to cover the edges.
I am going to add several pictures below so you can see some different ideas of youth rooms and stages. Let me know if you need further explanation about them. I have had to share space with other ministries over the years and still like to “create” atmosphere when I am in those locations. It it a lot of hard work but it has paid off for sure. My philosophy is, “paint is cheap” and you can create so much with just paint and some creativity. Recently I saw just regular old ceiling tile taken and used as canvas for artwork and then it was put in the rooms…good stuff.