In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of creating a church building design that includes dedicated space for children. We also talked about how that would look for a small church that’s working with a limited budget and a smaller amount of space. Today we want to shift our focus to larger churches, and talk about the particular needs they should keep in mind.
Why Children’s Spaces Matter
Again, ministering to families, especially children, is critically important to the health and future of a church community. A great way to attract children and their families is to create attractive, vibrant children’s spaces that can be seen from outside the church building itself.
Supporting Your Church’s Investment
When it comes to the particular needs of larger churches, one thing that church leaders don’t always remember is the necessity for your church building design to support investments you make in the church’s growth in other areas.
Say, for example, that you’ve already hired a youth pastor. But now the church is growing, and you’ve decided to hire a children’s pastor as well. That’s great! But don’t forget that you have to invest in the entire package when you do that. Your new children’s pastor is going to be hampered in their ministry if they don’t have a good space to use, or the right activities to appeal to the children.
This is the same idea that you would use in hiring a new employee at your business. If you hire new staff, but don’t give them space to work, or the tools to do the job right, you’re not supporting the employee, or giving them the means to succeed. They need a good children’s space to do their job right.
Don’t Design Your Spaces Too Small, or Too Few
Another pitfall for larger churches is deciding to build an exciting, bright play land area, and thinking that building one that holds 50 kids will surely be enough. But suddenly they’ve got 100 kids wanting to play there, because it’s the only play space available for everyone under 12 years old. Make sure that you create a variety of spaces—beyond the play land—so that one age group can be using the play area while the other groups are doing worship or another activity in nearby multi-function spaces.
A Church Building Design that also Meets Childcare Needs
Another issue that larger churches often encounter is the desire to expand into childcare, or even a church school. Church leaders need to remember that if you do this, the church building design has to meet childcare codes. These regulate how much room you need per student, how many facilities per student, how much play space per student, and so forth. So if a larger church is thinking along those lines, it’s important to make sure that the dedicated children’s space they design can meet those codes.
Church building design is a complex process, with many needs that have to be factored in. This is why we’re happy to share this information with you. We also invite you to sign up today for our 2015 free i3 webinar series, which will give you even more information on attracting children, handling budgets, and other crucial parts of the design and building process.