FSM: You Belong Here.

As soon as a date had been set for our first Youth Ministry gathering of the post-shelter-in-place season, we started to brainstorm ways to build excitement and anticipation for what God would do in the new school year.

We’d been talking about some possible upgrades to the room for months, but knew most would be more than a one-day job. Since our typical routine requires all three rooms to be functional both Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, finding a time to start any of these projects was tricky.

With two weeks to go (the start of school also lit a fire under us... we knew we'd need an extra set of hands!) we set to work renovating our primary Youth Ministry space.

The theme of our Spring Semester was You Belong Here. Our hope was that students would feel more and more like the church was a place where they could show up, exactly as they were, and find a group of people who greeted them with open arms. We also hoped they'd extend the invitation of community to their friends.

Josh had designed a slide with that messaging that felt like it would work as a big wall piece. When we showed it to our most artistic student (who's essentially become the FSM Art Director) and she said she liked it, too, we knew we had the okay to run at it.

This was the end goal: 

One massive trip to Home Depot--and a drive-thru coffee stop--later, we were ready!

We started with the easiest bit: painting the wall a light gray. Honestly, that was enough to make the room feel brighter and more inviting. It made us all even more excited to see the final result. 

As we painted the wall, Josh stained the media booth, and our Summer intern Cooper cleaned out (and disposed of) an old, mostly broken refrigerator. You can imagine the mix of smells going on in the room.

While the white wall dried, we set to work painting the opposite wall navy blue (the color of the letters on this wall) with a light gray trim.

Before we left for the night, we chalked off 12"x12" squares which would make it a little easier to paint even triangles. 

The following morning, our Art Director spent an hour or so labeling each triangle with the first letter of the color it would be painted to give a good mix and make sure no two spaces were touching more than they should.

Then came the tape and we were (finally!) ready to paint the first round of color!

As that dried, we cleaned out boxes, folders, and sheet music from the side of the stage and threw out the room dividers helping to hide it all. This made the room feel so much more open and spacious.

Just before lunch, we removed the tape from the yellow shapes and retaped for pink paint.

Around 11pm, we were finally ready to tape and paint the last of the three background colors: a bright blue.

You'll have to forgive me for the missing photo of the pre-lettered background, but it was 1am and we were all far too wiped to remember to document the progress. 

Jenna and I spent another afternoon painting the letters and baseboards while Josh painted the hallway and bathroom doors.

Spotify kept us going; over the course of the week, we listened to 80's Pop, 90's Pop, 70s/80s Folk, 80s/90s Rock, The Beatles, Classic Movie Soundtracks... at one point, we were out of ideas for playlists to search and just started them over again.

The following Sunday morning, students walked in and found this: (minus the painter's tape on the trim) 

Plus that classy new media booth! (Putting the fire extinguisher back in place was the real marker of a finished project. We gave the honor to our Art Director. She'd earned it!)


We are so happy with how it turned out! It was more work than we'd expected but turned out to be well worth it.

We have a few more small upgrades to make in this room and a few more backroom walls to paint, but it already feels like a brand new space. Josh and I are so excited to watch as memories are created and relationships built here.

1 comment

  1. This is spectacular! What an achievement...such a true, WELCOME! I am sure the students LOVE being a part of a group that cares so much for them...! Well done!!