In light of yesterday’s post, I wanted to share some of the simple things that we have used along the way at revolution to try to create a space that students actually wanted to come to. We are ALWAYS looking for fresh things. Hopefully some of these ideas will help you and the students you work with. Also, feel free to share some of your ideas. I would love to check them out.
1. Lamp it up - If your space has fluorescent lights, turn them off and use lamps to light up your space in a different way. If your church is anything like mine, you probably have a couple in a closet being unused. At revolution we now use intelligent lighting, but at time’s it’s best to just keep it simple and clean. Lamps are a cool way to do this.
2. Create an atmosphere with tunes - when students come in it is so important to create an atmosphere. Use this time when students are coming and going to blast new music. This is a great way to expose them to positive music. Also, it sets the atmosphere. If you are beginning the night with a fast song, then have fast music. If you are starting slow, then have slower music. It's sets the tone.
3. Go to Lowes - So many of the ideas that we have had have come from our local home improvement store. We have used big pieces of metal for a backdrop, made huge letters out of styrofoam sheets, duct-taped a couch, put metal fence up as a divider, created a hanging pulpit, duct-taped a pulpit (with the shiny duck tape), created a logo from duct-tape. needless to say we have bought a bunch of duct tape!
4. Look for things you already have - for the longest time we have been using big concrete blocks we had at the church for a ton of stuff. (Literally, they are heavy) We used them for a pulpit, then for a catwalk, then for platforms for musicians. So many things are like this.
5. Utilize old screens - There are many applications for old screens that you have around or that you find at yard sales. You can easily hook them together and be showing the image from your main screen on them. Also you can use duct tape (there it is again) to tape the screen so that the static creates your youth logo or different words. Just a thought. One time we stacked a bunch up and it was a cool effect.
6. Ask some students - Your student space will always be better when you have students who help make it. The more you have students involved in the process. The more effective the space is. Use students to design black and white artwork, make a signature wall, whatever. Just do some brainstorming with students. They have great ideas. One of the coolest things that people comment about when they come to revolution is our Duck Tape Couch. It was the idea of students.
7. Change it - No matter how cool your space is, or has been, you must change it. Change often. Our space is a great tool that we have to minister to students. If it is always the same, then they expect things to be the same. I recommend googling “youth rooms”, “youth sanctuaries” and check out other youth groups’ spaces. A great place to see some of these is on thecommune-ity. Change it up. If it is colorful and wild, then make it minimalist. Just change it.
What are some things that you have used to create your student space? I would love to see some pictures!