There was an error in this gadget

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Environmental Achitecture

Over the past month or so, Bill Holley (our preaching minister) and I have been reading the book Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging by Mark Waltz. We read a chapter, and then meet weekly to discuss its implications for ministry here at Eastview. The chapter we'll be discussing tomorrow morning is chapter 5, "Be an Environmental Architect". In it, Mark has 5 questions to ask when creating an environment. I thought I'd use the space here this week to answer those 5 questions about our 2 weekly gatherings...Sunday School and Youth Group.

Question 1- What's the Purpose of This Environment?
  • The purpose of Sunday School (Sunday mornings 8:45-945) is to teach the Bible in an engaging way. The material used is FaithWeaver which is a comprehensive 3-year curriculum. In those 3 years, we'll review the major stories of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
  • The purpose of Youth Group (Sunday nights for high school and Wednesday nights for middle school) is to discuss topics of immediate relevance to our students, to communicate that God loves them and want to be in a relationship with them, and to meet our students where they are. We want to provide a "safe" place for them to bring their questions and their friends.
Question 2: Who Will Use This Environment?
  • The spaces used are for our students. We'll use sofas, couches, journaling (writing, coloring, drawing), media, whatever we can to hit the purposes above.
  • Not everyone present is at the same place in a "spiritually mature" sense, in fact, many of those who come are not Christians.
Question 3: What Do We Want People to Experience?
  • The physical space is there to communicate "home" (sofas, chairs). The journals are meant to communicate "privacy". The small groups are meant to communicate intimacy and honesty.
  • Youth group nights are there to encourage conversation, story-telling, questions and dialogue. We meet to learn from scripture and our collective experience.
  • In Sunday school, while there is time for dialogue, primarily our students are there to hear and listen. This is a teaching time.
Question 4: What Do We Want People to Leave With?
  • Sunday School: An understanding of Scripture, what it says, what it means and how they can apply it.
  • Youth Group: Students are loved by God and adults. They've been heard, encouraged and challenged. They've heard a spiritual truth, and possibly, they'll leave with a question to ponder all week long.
Question 5: Who's Responsible for Quality Control?
  • Our ministry team meets monthly (most of the time) to discuss where things are at.
Beginning in October, all of our event planning will walk through this process...lock-ins, retreats, trips, etc. The first 4 questions, with answers, will appear on the registration forms for our events.

1 comment:

6p00d8341d03e653ef said...

What a practical use of these "designer" questions. Honest and public. Great work! Very encouraging!