Recently I’ve become fascinated with home improvement shows on cable like HG TV’s Flip Or Flop series. My wife and I eagerly watch episodes during which the stars purchase a home and face all kinds of obstacles in getting it renovated and back on the market to sell for a profit. Along the way, we’ve picked up some design ideas that have inspired us to make some changes to our own home. Most of the ones we’ve selected have been low-cost or no-cost ideas.
If your Bible study group meets in an on-campus room, work with your church leaders to coordinate some simple renovations to your room that will make a world of difference as you try to attract new people to your group. Here are several simple ideas that don’t cost a lot, but can help you change the overall appearance of your classroom:
- Make sure all the chairs match. This may sound like a “Well, duh…” kind of idea, but churches are notorious for having members who move chairs around. Some have a hodge-podge of chairs in rooms because that’s what they’ve accumulated over the years as groups have combined or collapsed. I recently entered into a classroom where there were 4 different styles of chairs! Talk about being visually cluttered. Simplify your room and provide a consistent look by having only one kind of chair.
- Lose the posters and maps. Many Bible study groups have proudly displayed posters and maps that come in leader kits. These teaching tools are designed to be used for a short period of time – normally one or two sessions – then thrown away. The trouble is we forget to do that, or we like the color they add to the walls, so we leave them up – for years! Throwing out old posters and maps will make the room feel brighter, larger, and more comfortable visually.
- Paint the walls. A gallon of paint ($25) can completely change the room. Go with a lighter color (not white!) and stay in earth tone colors that are soft, easy to look at, and relaxing.
- Clean the carpet. You may have gotten used to the coffee stains around your room, but they will be one of the first things your guests notice. If your carpet is dirty, it’s time for a good cleaning! Work with your church leaders to get that done. Call it to their attention – they may not even realize it needs to be done. You probably couldn’t sell a home with dirty carpet (it was the first thing my mother did when she put her home on the market – she got the carpet cleaned – and it made a huge difference); don’t expect people to join your group if you are meeting in a place with dirty carpet.
- Touch up the door frame. A pint of paint would be a minimal investment, and it would brighten up the door frame that leads into your classroom. It’s one of the first things guests will encounter as they venture into your classroom.
- Throw out the clutter. Sometimes things accumulate over time – an oscillating fan, a stack of old curriculum, an extra table, a piano no one ever uses. Throw out the items that you can and de-clutter the classroom.
None of these suggestions will cost much money at all – in fact, many are free. The ones that do cost can be done for $15-25 or so. Cleaning the carpet would be the most expensive, but it’s a good investment by the church (perhaps your staff would want all rooms cleaned by a rental cleaner – or by employing the services of a carpet cleaning company). Look around and take action! Simple fixes abound for those groups and group leaders who want to spruce up their space.