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Building A Youth Ministry Space – Must Haves?

 —  May 2, 2012 — 10 Comments

A few weeks back we posted a question on whether or not to build a dedicated youth ministry space in the Church. The general consensus was, if you can do it, do it! So it begs the question, if you are going to build a youth ministry room or building, what are the non-negotiables as far as outfitting it? If you have a space, what could you not imagine living without, or was there something that you wished you put into the original plans?

  • Creative Space?
  • Foosball?
  • Ping Pong?
  • Stage?
  • Tortilla Maker?
  • Chocolate Fountain?
  • Fridge?
  • Lazy River?
  • Fixed Mount Projector?
  • Emergency Eye Wash Station?

Let us know what your must have elements are AND what are the things that you would not include if you could do it all over again?

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Geoff Stewart

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10 responses to Building A Youth Ministry Space – Must Haves?

  1. We are looking at the possibility of building. I definitely want a stage, but open space is the key. Open space where chairs/tables can be set up and we can have ping pong tables and other games. Built in audio/video at the highest quality we can afford is a huge must as well. Atmosphere is key, so bringing in a group of our teens as consultants is definitely in the plans as well. If they don’t feel comfortable there, they won’t get everything out of any given service or event that they should and they certainly won’t bring their friends.

    • Geoff Stewart May 2, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Kraig – great thought. I sometimes have to remember to look through the lens of a teenager on stuff like this. I love clean lines and minimalist design, but I am not the target audience so having students bought into the process and the design is key. Love that idea.

  2. In the “hang out” space of the youth building have plenty of seating areas and places designed for students to gather, interact, and talk. Don’t put a lot of money into video games where only a few people play and don’t interact with each other much. Have some other games (ping pong, pool, foosball, air hockey, etc.) that students can play and still interact with their friends. Anytime you can have food around it’s a good thing too!

  3. Round tables w/ bar stools, subway booths, (4 per booth seating) snack bar (coffee, pop, microwave food, candy, chocolate, ice-cream etc) sound system, platform, marker board, mood lights, (just do not use regular fluorescent lights) computers, cards, games, pool, air hockey, football etc.

  4. We just got through a remodel of our youth facilities and I wish I would have know about HANTIS beforehand so I could have put in tables. If you haven’t seen it you can check it out on youtube. We’re just using regular tables and my students are going crazy about it.

  5. A defined teaching area (whether a stage, an open space, etc). specifically for the purpose of Bible study and large group teaching as well as an area for ping pong table and foosball tables. A small cafe area would be nice but not an essential. For our purposes, we utilize a game area with our video games and ping pong tables and then a separate area for our large group lessons complete with a media set-up for PowerPoint, videos, etc.

  6. We just moved in our new youth room in January.
    We designed it to be very casual coffee shop sort of feeling with bistro tables and chairs some comfy sofas and chairs. We also made the space flexible. We slide a few tables out of the way and we can set up cushioned folding chairs for a class sort of set up for teaching. We put some flat screens in and a projector, foosball, ping pong, bar with stools. Students have lots of spaces to hang out together in groups of 3 or 4 to 8 to 12. We put in an iMac and sound system. Most of the things we have put in the room, minus the iMac have been either donated or scrounged from other parts of the church building.

  7. Could post a lot for this. But from experience…plenty of electrical plugs.

  8. To follow up my last post, here are some things that we ran into.

    My first day interning at Fellowship Student Ministries was our first day in our new building. Granted, just being an intern, I wouldn’t have been brought in to consult on the construction and design, but I got to hear and experience some of the things we missed.

    Granted, a lot of things like stage, creative space, gym, coffee maker, vending machines, wine bar, volleyball court, etc will depend on context and ministry style. I’m more talking here about some of the minor (and less minor) details that I feel like can be universal.

    The biggest one was electrical outlets. If we wanted to plug in lamps to set a mood, TV’s to show announcements or play games, chargers to work on our laptops during work hours, or anything else, we had to run countless feet of extension cables along the floor, use surge protectors, etc, just because we didn’t have outlets. I’d go more than you could imagine using on plugs. Students will use them for phones. You will use them to plug in a light to make it homey or a vacuum to clean up the box of cheese its students threw everywhere.

    Another major one is storage. Whether its cabinets to keep forks and plates and the guns you confiscate from the pastor’s daughter, cabinets are good. Even more though, closets. Multiple. I’ve kind of “taken over” some of the main storage places at our campus, and I’m not sure how thrilled everyone else is. Having a few places to keep the “once a year but it’d be a pain to remake them each time” stuff is a huge one.

    lastly, like geoff said, surveillance. I know it’s not budget friendly for everyone, but neither is having every single piece of technology in your space jacked.

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