Why our new youth room is a BIG deal
First, it gives the youth a place that is their own. There is something to be said for belonging, we all want to belong, and having a dedicated room that belongs to the youth goes a long way in making teenagers feel like they have a place where they belong. It also allows us to make the room the perfect environment for teenagers, we don't have to worry about other uses because it's only use is for teenagers. So we have a huge screen on the wall, a foosball table, a ping pong table, an air hockey table, chalkboard paint on the walls, couches, comfy chairs, a basketball hoop, and a fridge stocked with tasty drinks...all in all it is a teenagers room, fun, functional and a little chaotic.
Second, it gives the youth a place to bring their friends. If they are comfortable in the atmosphere during our youth gatherings they are more likely to reach out and invite their friends. Inviting friends to church can be intimidating, but by giving the students a place they feel comfortable in we can lessen that intimidation and give them a place they want to bring their friends.
Third, it gives the students a vision for what could be. Our youth ministry has always met in our church's fellowship hall which was shared with EVERYBODY. Because of that everything felt temporary, it was like we were renting space that we couldn't change. So we dreamed up this idea of creating our own space and we talked about it and worked hard to make it happen. And now that we have our own space that dream has become reality. Now we can change whatever we want and make the room look however we want because we aren't 'renters' anymore, we've moved into our own home. Our room gives the students the opportunity to dream big about how we use it, what it looks like, how we improve our ministry because of it, and how we grow as a ministry.
The youth room is more than a room it's a great stepping stone into the lives of our students and the friends they invite. It's our home and it's our goal to make it feel that way to our students.