Why Environments Matter

Courtesy of BFS Man/Creative Commons License

In my senior year of college I lived with 6 other guys.  Our house was huge and a fun place to live.  At the time I thought we did a good job keeping it clean, until the day we all moved out.  Sadly for them, I was one of the first to leave; therefore, I did not have to deal with the messes that they faced.  There were ruined rugs, mildew stained bathrooms and inches of grease lining the kitchen.  The fact that family and friends would hangout in our abode was quite amazing.  Now that I’m married I take special pride in how my house looks.  If it’s dirty, we clean it.  If it’s in need of repair, we fix it.

Some youth ministers have their own student space, some need to share it.  Doesn’t matter if you have your own building or a tiny little closet, you need to take pride in how your space looks and feels.  While you want to your teens “NOT TO JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER”, having a well thought out environment is important to your ministry’s success.  To create an irresistible environment where teens feel comfortable and engaged you need to make sure your:

  • Furniture Is Right For The Room – Furniture can be expensive; however, you shouldn’t compromise on comfort, durability and look.  If you had pizza stains and tears in your sofa, would you expect your loved ones to sit on it?  Make sure your furniture emphasizes the feel of your ministry.  For example a small group environment might want to consider sofas and not desks and chairs.  And above all else make sure it’s in good condition.  Good furniture is the key to comfort.
  • Sounds, Light And Temperature Is Not A Factor – If it’s too hard to see, listen and sit still, everything you say will go over their heads.  There is nothing worst than a squirming and an impatient audience when you are trying to lay down some Truth.  Make sure you can have control over the sound, lighting and temperature of your room or you will find yourself constantly battling uphill.
  • Setting Emphasizes Your Point – Do you decorate for the seasons?  Sounds like something the children’s ministry might do; however, it’s not a bad ideas for your space.  We are living in a visual world, and it can be effective to use props and decorations to drive a point home.  Just don’t go over board or you will face a little distraction and even overstimulation.
Environments matter because they set the mood of your audience.  With so much noise in your teen’s lives, the more you can help them focused, the easier it will be to deliver the Truth.  Come up with a plan, get other’s insight and tweak it as the years go by.  Keep it clean and make sure it’s purpose is to keep the teens comfortable and engaged.
What other environmental factors matter?  How do you keep teens focused and comfortable?

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