Outreach to young families is critical for the long-term strength of the congregation. Parents look for “perks” that make their role as “public parents” more rewarding and their experience at church more fulfilling. Well designed, spaces for families provide choices that can encourage the family’s full participation.
Nurseries – Nursery spaces need to be secure, safe and provide children with an environment packed with engaging activities. This assures a respite for their parents who can then focus on adult activities.
Worship Areas – Create parenting areas within the Gathering/Hospitality Space where parents can observe worship through glass. Rocking chairs and bassinets are considerate extra touches.
Cry Rooms – Place cry rooms within or adjacent to the worship to reinforce the message that families are welcome in worship.
Mother’s Rooms – Provide places for moms who are nursing. This is essential for attracting young families. These private areas reassure young mothers they are welcome and allow for convenience and privacy.
Changing Stations – Provide these necessary features in both men’s and women’s restrooms. It should be thoughtfully designed, not crammed into available space to suggest it is an afterthought. A great additional opportunity is to provide a single-use, ADA compliant, companion toilet room that is outfitted with a changing station.
Related Article Series
The Hospitable Church I – Presence
The Hospitable Church II – Parking & Entry
The Hospitable Church III – Hospitality