Recently I’ve become fascinated with home improvement shows on cable’s HG TV channel. My wife and I eagerly watch episodes during which people purchase a home and face all kinds of obstacles in getting it renovated. 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 spruce up your room. A “new” room 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 groups have a hodge-podge of chairs in their rooms because that’s what they’ve accumulated over the years as groups have combined or collapsed. I recently entered into a classroom in which 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 if possible.
- Lose the posters and maps. Many Bible study groups have proudly displayed posters and maps that come in leader packs. 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 and less visually cluttered.
- 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 and relaxing. Yes, I know that your favorite football team’s colors are bright red and black, but let’s leave that on the football field.
- Clean the carpet. You may have gotten used to the coffee stains around your room, or small tears happened when furniture was moved, but these imperfections 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 can’t sell a home with dirty carpet, so don’t expect people to join your group if you are meeting in a place that’s been neglected.
- 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 inside.
- 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 at the same time?). Look around and take action! Simple fixes abound for those groups and group leaders who want to spruce up their space.
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