So you’ve got your youth room decorating ideas mapped out and you’re ready to make them a reality . . . however, you may be a little hesitant as you ask yourself where you’re going to get funds for them. What if Father he doesn’t go for your pitch? What if he approves but can’t offer you the funds needed to accomplish everything you’re hoping for? What if that dream spot in the parish for your youth room is denied and you have to scramble to make another space work? Don’t fear, God always has a way of working things out and He’s ultimately got the right place and funds for your youth room and the right words for meeting with your pastor about it!
First, before meeting with your pastor about your budget proposal and possible proposal for a room, map out your reasons on a sheet of paper to act as guiding points for your conversation. A few points to discuss with your pastor could be:
- Why having a youth room is vital to the program (whether a permanent or transitional space)
- Why investing for decorating is important (creating an environment for encounter)
- How you’re going to use this space throughout the year (explaining the importance of this investment)
- How you’re going to be a good steward of the church’s space and money (writing out a physical budget with the cost of decorations)
First and foremost, you want to remind yourself and your pastor the reason behind having a youth room in the first place: You want to create an environment for encounter for the teens of your parish. Your teens could just meet in the church’s pews, but you’d be very limited in what you could do. You wouldn’t be able to host many large group games and you might struggle to keep respect for the Blessed Sacrament if games or a teaching get more interactive. It’s just not the right atmosphere for the whole night most of the time. A room or a different area reserved for you each time your youth group meets will set up the right environment to most effectively lead your teens into a deeper encounter with Christ.
Second, you’re going to need a budget to make that environment possible. You might need to invest in some bookshelves. Maybe even a sound system for teachings, environment music, or any videos or audio needed for the night. You might need a budget to buy partition walls and things to decorate those partitions in order to bring a sacred space into the room, as well as making your teens feel like this place is for them and their encounter with God. In order to fulfill this, you’re going to have to purchase a few things, like modern artwork, mood lighting, and seating that’s welcoming and stylish for a teen. That could mean finding some discounted furniture in the old church basement or a garage sale and buying some supplies to fix them up.
After showing these things to your pastor, you’re going to want to show him how this investment will be used throughout the whole year on your main youth group nights, and other nights for other events throughout the year as well. This room doesn’t have to just be used for two hours the whole week, but can be used to host after school hangs during the school week, a discipleship group, or a fun social night every now and then. Show your pastor that by investing in this area, your teens will come to learn more and more how this space provides the means for a deeper encounter with the One who’s calling them into a relationship with Him.
Then, make sure you show how you’re going to be a good steward of the space you’re given, as well as the budget. For example, you’re going to get a volunteer to make sure lights are cut off at the end of events and the trash is taken out. You’re going to take careful note to make sure this area of the church is just as well taken care of as the rest of the church. Type out an estimated budget of the things you need to purchase for the room to present to your pastor. Show him exactly where the money will be going and that you’re not just going to blow what’s given. Make it clear you will be a good steward of money for necessary things, and some highly desired things if possible.
Lastly, make sure your pastor understands where you’re coming from and encourage him to be a part of the process if possible. Having your pastor on the same page not only helps for achieving your youth room goals but also helps achieve your goals in a deeper way throughout your whole church community. Maybe you could discuss with your pastor ways in which the church community could contribute to the youth room, such as providing some unwanted furniture, or donations to help go towards your budget. Let your pastor know that you’ll be including your teens in the preparation process of the youth room as well.
For tips and ideas on getting your teens involved, look for our next article for this series!
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