5 Steps to Give Your Environment a Fresh Look
One of my favorite things to do in kid's ministry is to cultivate awesome environments that make kids want to come back to church and invite all of their friends to come with them. I'm a couple months into my current position as Children's Pastor at a new church, and one of the things I was asked to do in the first few months in my position was to give the kid's ministry environment a fresh look. Our hallway and kid's ministry rooms have looked the same since the building was constructed eight years ago, so it's definitely time for a fresh, new look. Whether you are new in a position or have been in your position for awhile, ask yourself this question: "When was the last time you changed something about your kid's ministry environment?" If it has been more than a couple months, chances are you are in need of at least some change to give your environment a fresh look. I want to share 5 steps we are currently taking in our kid's ministry environments to give them a fresh look. Good news for those of you who are on a tight budget, most of these steps won't cost you a lot of money, if any.
Step 1: Declutter and Dispose
This step won't cost you any money, but it will require some hard work and elbow grease to get the job done. Go into each of your kid's ministry rooms, hallways, check-in areas, storage closets, etc. and look around. Most likely there are some items that need to go in the dumpster, or at the very least need to be relocated. We are still in the process of doing this in some of our rooms. We started with our check-in area and main elementary room, and it was amazing to hear parents, leaders and even children noticing the change. Spring break is coming up, and we are planning a spring cleaning of all of our Early Childhood classrooms. We will be going through all the cabinets and toys. Invite your team to come out and help you with this step. Some of your leaders may know even better than you what needs to go.
Step 2: Organize and Label
The next step is to organize and label everything that is left after the purge. It's great to get rid of all the clutter, but if you don't get it all organized and labeled you will find the clutter coming back in no time. We are currently going through our storage area and cabinets, and we are even creating more storage in one of our rooms. When we are finished, everything will have it's place, and it will be labeled clearly. All of our leaders should be able to find whatever they need, and put it back in it's place when they are done with it. Don't get lazy, and skip this step.
Step 3: Paint the walls
This step may not apply to your ministry if it has been painted in the last year. Otherwise, your walls could probably use at least a touch up. You can simply repaint your walls in the same colors, or go for a totally new look. Our kid's ministry has recently gone through a re-branding process. We are using the colors in our new branding palette for our hallway and rooms. Paint is a reasonably inexpensive to give your environment a fresh look.
Step 4: Switch it up
You may be able to give your environment a fresh look by simply switching things around in some of your rooms. Our main elementary room has a lot of options for how it can be laid out. When we got here there was a permanent stage in one of the corners in our room. We wanted to do something different by moving our stage to the center of the long wall in our room. We weren't able to salvage our current stage so we demolished it, and put in some stage pieces that we already had at the church. Look around your church and storage areas for items that are no longer being used. We found lighting, trussing, stage pieces, and decorations that were no longer being used by other ministries in the church that didn't cost us a thing to use, but gave us a fresh look. The area that used to be our stage is now being turned into extra storage and a leader hangout space using pipe and drape.
Step 5: Get a Wow factor
This step could cost you depending on what your wow factor is. We decided to put in a new giant screen when we moved our stage as our big wow factor. It only cost us about $300, but I have heard so many people talking about it since just last week. A wow factor for you might be new lighting, some large decorations on the walls, a new screen, new signage, or anything else that will be obvious to families and kids when they enter your environment.
Remember, your environment is a huge part of your first and final impression on families and kids when they walk into your church. When your environment is clean, well-painted, and fun it shows families how much you care about excellence in your ministry overall. Even if you only do one or a couple of these steps it will give your environment a fresh look that people are sure to notice.
What have you done recently in your ministry environments to give them a fresh look?