Top 5 Spaces to Convert for Multi-use

– Jeremy Mika, Worship Facilities

Worship Facilities Magazine and is the authoritative source for churches seeking to maximize the ministry impact of the resources, people and technology.

All churches deal with it. It seems like there is never enough space to accomplish our work for God while reaching the people we are called to reach. Our facilities are visibly packed out with no room for additional guests or ministries. What can troubled pastors do?

Look to repurpose certain spaces for multiple uses.

What spaces give the most benefit when it comes to multiuse? There are certain rooms and areas that, when used properly, can help you expand your ministries. With that in mind, here are the top five spaces that crammed churches can remodel to increase both function and capacity.

1. Auditorium/Sanctuary

In most churches the auditorium is, by far, the biggest space of the facility. We need to be as versatile as possible with our large rooms. If possible, repurpose your auditorium to serve multiple functions. Replace inflexible pews with removable chairs. Remove limited carpeting and replace it with durable, multi-functional hardwood, tile or even laminate. These relatively low cost renovations can open up a sanctuary to be used for a variety of purposes such as a youth meeting place, a Friday night coffeehouse, a weekday community center and pretty much anything else that you need to house a large gathering of people.

2. Offices

Ideally, it would be great if all pastors and staff members had their own on-site office space. With space-strapped facilities, however, this simply may not be feasible. By moving staff office space to another location or having pastors work from home offices, the extra space available can be converted into adult meeting space, classrooms or even storage. It may seem counterintuitive to use square feet for storage space, but this use of space is crucial to making multiple purpose spaces work. There needs to be some area to hold removable chairs, tables and room dividers. If there is no space to store these things, than it is pointless to repurpose a space for multiple uses.

3. Outdoor Spaces

Does your church have outdoor space with no function? If you have green spaces, wooded areas or empty lots that aren’t serving a purpose, then put them to use. Patios, seating areas and gardens can be great meeting places for youth, adult Bible studies and large church gatherings. The key is to create spaces that people want to be in. Comfortable patio seating, audio and video feeds, fountains and fireplaces all work wonders to make outdoor spaces functional environments for churches. Frankly speaking, some of these renovations could get pretty pricey, but they are still much cheaper than adding a new wing to your facility or building a new one, and they create beautiful spaces on church grounds that people want to spend their time at.

4. Foyer

The main entry to your church is a perfect place to serve your church with a wealth of uses.  A foyer is: a meeting and gathering place; an information center; a refreshment zone; and a main thoroughfare for incoming and outgoing foot traffic. Before tearing down any walls, try to make full use of walls, nooks and crannies throughout the space. If, after subtle improvements, your foyer is not large enough to adequately meet the needs mentioned above, you may want to look into renovating. You do want the main entry to feel welcoming and not overly crowded – sometimes a first impression can be a lasting one.

5. Youth Space

Our youth centers and youth rooms can be some of the most dynamic spaces in our churches. This is perfect for not only reaching youth, but adults as well. Open up your youth space to be functional for the entire congregation. Much like the church auditorium, in many cases this space can serve as a community center, coffee house, or even simply a laid back meeting space. With some simple repurposing, your youth center could become a “church center.”

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