The Three Most Important Rooms in a Church Building
By: Bill Easum
I tell churches all the time that the three most important rooms in a church building are the Worship Center, Restrooms, and Nursery. Most churches don't understand the importance of these rooms. I know this by simply looking at the way most churches take care of these three rooms.
Worship Center Basics
• A good sound system is crucial to reaching today's audience. And don't rely on an architect to design your sound system because very few know how. Instead, hire an independent sound company. Don't be afraid to spend money here.
• Avoid too hard surfaces. Unlike the past, today you want as little reverberation as possible. You want to drive the music with microphones rather than allow hard surfaces to drive it. To determine if you have too much reverberation, clap your hands. If you hear any echo, you have too much reverberation, so eliminate some of the hard surfaces.
• Chairs are usually better than pews. Architects still use an archaic 18-20 inches per person, which is uncomfortable for the vast number of people.
• Video projection should be bright and clear without dimming the lights. Young adults are the most media-savvy generation to date.
• The cleanest room in a church building should be the nursery. If the carpet has spots, get rid of them or get rid of the carpet. No one wants their child playing on a dirty floor.
• If the cribs have a side that drops down, get rid of it. It is illegal today to have such a crib.
• Nothing should be in a nursery that isn't directly used for children. I've seen too many churches use the nursery as a place to store unwanted things, such as filing cabinets, pianos, and just plain clutter.
• Provide a nursery brochure to give to parents using the nursery for the first time. Include such things as how often the toys are cleaned, when the room is disinfected, and how often are the sheets changed.
• Change the crib sheets after the use of every child, clean the toys with a disinfectant between each worship service, clean the diaper changer after each use, and vacuum the carpet between services.
• Never have the toddlers and the crib babies in the same room. Invariably, a toddler will learn to stand and poke a finger in a crib while in a church nursery.
• Require parents to show some form of identification when leaving or taking their child from the nursery. There are many excellence software programs that provide safe passage in and out of the nursery.
• Give new parents a pager so that they can be contacted quickly if there is a problem. Parents are waiting longer to children and are more concerned about leaving their child in the care of someone else.
• Have the nursery open anytime you want young parents to attend an event.
• Each nursery room should have direct access to a lavatory.
• People should be able to wash their hands without touching any surface including the exit door. Of course, this would require major renovations in older churches, so look for ways to solve this with little cost. For example, put an automatic towel dispenser close to the facets so a person could get one to turn off the facet. Then put a trashcan close to the exit door for people who are averse to handling the door.
• Put diaper changers in the men's and women's rooms.
• Provide toilet seat plastic covers.
• Have someone check the restrooms during worship to make sure they are well-stocked, clean, and are presentable.
I'm sure you could list more items for each room, but, from what I've seen, these are the basics that too many churches overlook.
Bill Easum is the founder and president of 21st Century Strategies, Inc. a full-service church consulting group since 1987 whose mission is to equip Christians for global impact, www.effectivechurch.com.