What to Decorate and How to Do It

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Maybe you’d like to give your room a face lift, but you see too
many barriers in your way. Don’t worry. Those barriers probably
aren’t as tall as they seem.

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  • How to finance your renovations. Ask church
    members, parents, and ministry supporters to chip in for your
    project. It doesn’t take much to revamp your room’s look, so get a
    lot of people to give a little money. Try inexpensive fund-raising
    approaches such as a Halloween pumpkin sale or a rummage sale
    featuring items donated by church members. Also, to spread out the
    cost, don’t try to decorate all at once. Come up with an overall
    plan and attack it in parts.
  • How to find time to do the work. Just as you
    schedule your other important programming activities, schedule a
    time to do your renovations. Make it fun by planning a decoration
    lock-in. Kids will love staying up all night working on your room,
    and you’ll get a new room PLUS hours of relaxed relational time
    with your kids. Ask parents to help, too.
  • How to come up with creative decorating ideas.
    One of the best ways to gather decoration ideas is to ask kids to
    bring in pictures of their bedrooms (or, with your kids’
    permission, take your group on a whirlwind tour of their bedrooms).
    While you’re at it, you could take a tour of other churches’ youth
    rooms in your area. You might even tour teenager-friendly
    restaurants, retail stores, and other hangouts. Then brainstorm a
    list of great decorating ideas and pick the best ones for your
    room.
  • What to do if other groups use your room, too.
    If another church group uses your room occasionally, make sure you
    meet with representatives from that group to find some “common
    ground” for your decorations.
  • If you can’t find common ground, maybe the
    answer is to agree on paint for the walls, then brainstorm “movable
    decorations” that you can take down after your group meets. For
    example, instead of plastering colorful posters to your walls, put
    up several removable billboards around your room and pin posters to
    them.
  • How to get approval to redecorate from the powers that
    be.
    If you help your church leaders understand why you
    need to decorate your room and what you plan to do, you can often
    neutralize their fears. Start by talking about little changes you’d
    like to make, then work your way up to the big changes.

In some ways, your meeting room represents the hub of your
ministry, because that’s where much of the ministry goes on.
There’s no better reason to invest time and energy making it the
“wanna- be” place for your kids.

Rob Marin is a junior high minister in California.

Decorating Ideas

  • Avoid making dated decor a permanent part of your room’s
    “look.” Watch out for decorations that feature movies, trends, or
    trendy music. You can use trendy decorations if you use them in
    addition to your permanent decorations. This gives you the freedom
    to quickly change the look of your room without disrupting your
    permanent decor.
  • Make your room decorations reflect something unique about your
    ministry. If you stress music in your ministry, surround your room
    with music-oriented decorations. You might even hang old musical
    instruments such as guitars on your walls!
  • Remember that kids don’t care how much money you spend on the
    decor; they care only about the decor itself. Often, the cheap way
    to go is the best way to go.
  • Paint is probably your most important decorating tool. Kids
    love lots of bright colors. So give them bright colors by creating
    stripes, a “splatterpaint” look (make sure you have plenty of
    dropcloths for this), or murals.
  • Find or make street signs to decorate your walls. Find a
    company in your area that manufactures street signs and ask if they
    have rejects. (The best place to call is the public works
    department of your local government.) Or go to shopping centers or
    stores that are remodeling and getting rid of their old signs. Or
    make your own personalized street signs using poster board or
    cardboard. We’ve used all three of these methods and now we have a
    room with signs all over!
  • Plan your room around a theme. Choose a theme, then ask church
    members to donate items that fit the theme. For example, if you
    choose a safari theme, ask people for palm leaves, ropes, pith
    helmets, binoculars, old parachute cloth, or anything that looks
    “jungle.”

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