5 Things Parents Look for in a Church Facility Blog Feature
Becky Phillips

By: Becky Phillips on May 18, 2021

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5 Things Parents Look for in a Church Facility

Church Design | church facilities | Mother's Day

Everyone looks at different things in a church service: worship styles, preaching, or even the unwritten dress code. The same is true within church spaces. Every individual who walks through your doors will have a different priority when it comes to how they view your physical space.

Fresh off the heels of Mother’s Day, I spoke with two of Aspen's amazing architectural design team members, Andrea Burks and Rosie Mitchell, about five things parents look for when they enter a church space—besides the coffee.

1. Wayfinding

For parents walking into a church building for the first time, quickly figuring out where to go with their children is essential. Parents often walk in the door with their hands full, so signage that is clear and on-brand with the look and feel of your church can be a real blessing to first-time guests.

 

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“It’s really important for first-time guests to get into the lobby, situate themselves and figure out where to drop their kids off. You don’t really think about that before you have kids.”
—Rosie Mitchell, Architectural Project Manager, Aspen Group

 


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2. Connection Spaces

Places for visitors to connect are vital within your church, but these places are particularly important for families. After a church service, children will want a place to play while adults chat with one another.  

 

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Open spaces with ample natural lighting help visitors at your church feel at home and not hurried out of the building. Remember, kids are curious, so anything sitting within reach is bound to be explored, and unlocked doors are certain to be opened by little ones excited to see what’s around the corner.

“As a parent, connecting spaces can be really important because it’s good to know other people who are going through that same phase of life.” —Andrea Burks, Architectural Designer, Aspen Group

3. Safety and Security

Once parents make their way to your kids’ area, it’s vital for them to know their children will be safe during the service. A secure check-in process, sufficient and friendly volunteers, and the design of your rooms will help give mom and dad peace of mind as they head to the worship service.

 

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On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, cleanliness is also of utmost importance. As you prepare for services, make sure the physical space is clean and bright so that mom and dad aren’t left wondering if their kids are picking up too many germs.

“A number one priority for most parents is the safety and security of the facility.” —Becky Phillips, Human Resources Director, Aspen Group

4. Special Accommodations for Babies

As we think about how different parents experience your church, it’s important to remember that parents of infants have a different set of needs than parents of school-aged children.

 

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Parents of infants have plenty of joy and challenges in this stage; you don’t want your church space to present additional obstacles. Station people up front to open doors for those who are pushing strollers. Have restrooms with diaper-changing stations clearly identified. The positive experience can even begin outside if your church provides special parking for those with young children.

5. The Small Details

There is a whole category of smaller details that can really enhance the churchgoing experience for parents. These things are often noticed when they aren’t done well. 

Our architecture mom panel at Aspen shared those experiences for them have included:

      • narrow hallways that make navigating kids’ areas difficult
      • crowded or understaffed check-in areas that create lines for already hurried families
      • noisy or harshly-lit nursing rooms that make nursing more stressful for mom and baby

If you aren’t sure how your church is doing when it comes to your Sunday experience for parents, ask. Moms and dads will often be happy to share opinions about how your space can be optimized. And the moms and dads at Aspen are always ready to help improve your space as well! As long as you provide the coffee.

 

About Becky Phillips

Becky Phillips joined Aspen Group in 2017 as the Human Resources Director, after starting her career in the construction industry and spending the past 14 years in various HR leadership roles at an international ministry organization. She leads as a strategic partner in ensuring that Aspen Group remains a great place to work, while attracting, motivating, engaging, and retaining fantastic people.

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