We’ve talked before about the importance of making a good first impression, but that first impression doesn’t just happen when people walk through the door of your church building—it’s the building as a whole, and the time they spend in it that counts. In this post, we’ll focus on two specialty spaces that should be considered in your renovation budget: hospitality spaces and restrooms. Improving these two areas will be a great way to ensure that your church makes a good first impression on guests and members.

Highlighting Hospitality

Every church building can benefit from having a hospitality space of some sort. These areas can be dedicated solely to hospitality or multi-use. Either way, they should be casual; the kind of space where people can gather comfortably and get to know each other. We encourage you to think multi-ministry with your hospitality space, as cozy multi-use spaces like this can be used for Bible study, get-to-know-you sessions and small gatherings, as well as a place for informal conversations before or after church services.

The key to furnishing hospitality areas in your church renovation is to focus on elements that enhance comfort and a feeling of coziness. Here you can see at Blue Grass UMC in Evansville, IN, they’ve placed comfortable chairs in social groupings and used warm wood on the bookcases and cabinets. The carpet tiles are easy to clean, which is helpful because many hospitality functions tend to involve food.

Clean and Updated Restrooms

Another key component of a successful church renovation is restrooms. If guests enjoy your worship and have a great time chatting in your hospitality room, but then walk into dim and dingy restrooms, they probably won’t leave with a great first impression of your church building. Restrooms should be well-presented and appear fresh and clean, with minimal décor and a neutral color schemes.

blue-grass-umc2Here again at Blue Grass UMC, they’ve used porcelain tile for flooring, which is an excellent choice; it’s durable, presents well and is easy to clean. If your budget allows it, you can bring tile partway up the walls, or even all the way to the ceilings. If you do choose to use paint on the walls, it should be high quality and easy to clean.

You can add special touches to the main restroom by choosing faucets, light fixtures and mirrors that match the theme you’re trying to present. These elements can all be tied together with a matching accent tile on the floor or wall.

Finally, if you don’t have a family restroom, you might want to consider adding one as part of your church renovation.  It will be a nice touch for families with young children or aging parents—a place they can go to have some additional privacy and space.

Improving Hospitality and Bringing People Back

If your church building needs some attention to help it be an effective tool for your ministry, consider a renovation of your specialty spaces. Repurpose old or underused spaces into new and hospitable areas that will make guests feel at home. Next week, we’ll discuss two more areas that can greatly benefit from a renovation: children and youth spaces, and perhaps most importantly—the worship space.

If you’re considering a renovation or new building project, keep an eye on our website—we’ll be kicking off our updated, free i3 webinar series in 2017. Registration opens soon!