Our CM Facility is not “child-Focused”
“How can the CM survive, and flourish when it is not child-focused, and we can’t decorate it the way we want?”
There are politics involved in making the CM facility “child-focused.” If the facility is used by other groups, they may not want the facility to look “childish.” Finding “common ground” is challenging.
“Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see your pure and reverent demeanor.” 1 Peter 3: 1, 2
Submission produces gains. Battles produce casualties. If the facility in which you hold the CM is not “child-friendly,” there are things you can do right away, and things that will take longer. In the process of making the CM facility more “child-focused,” you may encounter “pushback” from your supervising pastor, or from other ministry leaders if you share the facility. Being kind, gentle, and respectful will always produce more support than being belligerent or confrontive. This principle is true whether the situation involves a marriage relationship or a ministry facility!
If the facility you use for the CM is also used by other groups or ministries, you’ll need to share counter space and wall space. You’ll have to negotiate for both of those areas. To “own” a classroom or large room means that you can leave decorations or art pieces up during the week. To share a classroom or large room means that you must keep the facility somewhat neutral so that other age groups can feel comfortable in the facility as well. This requires that you put up art or decorations for a particular meeting, and then take them down afterward. The other option is to decorate the ministry areas with graphically pleasing images or statements that both children and adults can enjoy. This would take some negotiating to make sure that the art pieces are still “child-friendly,” while not offending older people.
When it comes to the furniture in the rooms, smaller children need to be significantly considered. Preschoolers cannot be expected to sit in adult chairs, and adults cannot be expected to sit in preschool chairs. In rooms where upper elementary or middle school children are ministered to, adult-sized chairs and tables would work fine.
If the facility in which you hold your CM is not shared with other ministries or groups, then you can carefully propose steps to make the facility more “child focused.” Making the facility more “child-focused,” is affected by your grouping or age groups. If the CM is based on large group, multi-age gatherings, then the decorations must be more neutral, and not specifically focused on a specific age group. If the CM is based on age-group classes, those rooms should be able to be made more child focused without the “politics” of sharing with another age group.
The restrooms are another area that may not be as child focused as they could be. The sinks and toilets are the main items that need adjusting. Obviously, if your facility is already constructed, and the sinks and toilets are not child-sized, then you can’t change things without spending significant money. (It might be possible to adjust the sinks if someone from the church volunteers their time to do the work.). Sinks and counters should, ideally, have a lower section for children and a higher section for adults. It is very dangerous to have steps up to the adult-sized sinks or counters. Children can fall on the steps and crash their chins onto the counters. It is much easier to build a lower section for children and not use steps. Replacing adult-sized toilets with child-sized ones is not difficult, but it will cost money for the smaller toilets.
The graphics on the hallway walls in the CM area could also be child focused. But, these walls could contain “political issues” with your senior pastor. Most senior pastors want families to feel welcome, but they are afraid of graphics that might communicate something that is too childish. Meeting with the senior pastor about the hallway wall graphics is a very good thing to schedule. For more help, click on the “Developing The CM Facility – APPENDIX” link below.
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