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The new facility at Rhema Bible Church will foster authentic connections through thoughtful, relevant design.

Twenty years ago, very few facilities were dedicated specifically to youth church members. “Back then, if you had a basketball goal outside and some good music inside, you were a cut above the rest!” recalls Rachael Rowland, marketing director at Churches by Daniels in Broken Arrow, OK [churchesbydaniels.com]. Today, it’s different; now her company designs stateof-the-art youth facilities for its clients. “Every teenager has a smartphone and can access anything with a push of a button,” Rowland explains. “It has pushed churches to

The open-concept gaming / café / lounge area at Rhema Bible Church (RBC) in Broken Arrow, OK (Photo courtesy of Churches by Daniels)

become more cutting-edge! Now, they want to incorporate the same type of technology and level of excellence to reach the young people as Disney uses to attract young people.” Rowland and her team are currently meeting that challenge by creating a youth facility for her family’s home church: Rhema Bible Church (RBC). And the time is definitely right: According to RBC Student Ministries Pastor Denise Burns, the youth group is the largest it has been in 15 years. “So, we felt — with the

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momentum we’d gained — it was the right time to make the investment.”

Tried-and-true trends Inside the new RBC youth facility, the Churches by Daniels team will accommodate several proven, youthfriendly design trends. First up: multipurpose, or “third place,” space. “There are two main purposes: to get the most for the money, and to make the church a place where people want to come all through the week instead of just on Sundays,” Rowland explains. “Churches want to be a hub for the community to find fellowship and help if they need it.” The trend will take form in several facility elements: The outdoor patio will be used for small group breakout sessions during weekly services; for fellowship before and after worship; and as a dining area for events where food is served. The open-concept gaming / café / lounge area will accommodate all the same uses as the outdoor patio. “We wanted a wide open space — something that wouldn’t ‘box us in,’” RBC’s Burns says. The basketball courts will be used for organized games, small groups, fellowship and pickup games. The worship space will feature removable chairs and a flat floor so it can function as a multipurpose space. All speak to a trend toward the communal in youth spaces — areas that foster authentic interactions. “The social component was the most relevant element for us,” Burns says. “Youth are social, relational; that was the driving force. You can’t grow the spiritual aspect without growing the emotional, social and mental realms of the students.” To this end, Burns points out that less than half of the new youth building is dedicated to the auditorium; the rest accommodates social needs. “God needs to be in every component of your life, not just sitting in a church service,” she explains. “So, why should a youth building be just an auditorium?” >>

Profile for Power Trade Media

Church Executive Digital Edition July/Aug 2014  

Helping Leaders Become Better Stewards

Church Executive Digital Edition July/Aug 2014  

Helping Leaders Become Better Stewards