Editor’s note: The following article by Paulla Shetterly, principal and director of Interior Design with CDH Partners, recently appeared in Church Executive Magazine.
“Some among the next generation of believers have become disillusioned with the traditional worship environment. Because of this, we, as designers, have had to rethink how we address the needs of today’s culture without repositioning the timeless truths of the church. It’s a tactical process often involving theming worship and student environments. I’ve learned that the designs must be progressive, because congregations — students and their parents — are progressive.
This can be a huge challenge for churches. Students want to hear truth, but they want it presented in a way that speaks to their needs and their personal experiences. Theming has become very popular because it represents a commitment, an investment and a buy-in to the lives of others — particularly students and children. Students are looking for churches that offer an intentional worship experience. How a church deals with this often boils down to the design of a facility.
How it takes shape
In designing a worship space for children, we adjust the scale of the themed environment to fit their perspectives. Colors are more intense, elements are added to fit their age group, and areas are designed to be fun and full of natural light. We want them to be eager to go to church and eager to return. We also design secure check-in areas and systems.
A major challenge for many churches is creating areas that look and feel like the age group that will be using them. If a church is going to grow and retain its students, the spaces must be sophisticated places of engagement and also take advantage of the latest in technology. Designs should incorporate lighting, color schemes and surfaces that are colorful and durable. Please click here to continue reading