I just came back from Florida where I spoke at Life For Youth Camp for two weeks. It was an amazing time with many kids finding the Lord. I made some connections while I was down there and one of them was Joe Maldanado. He’s the Executive and Youth Pastor (sweet combo) of Lakeview Church’s 24/7.

We had coffee and he invited me out to see his facility. This was a great opportunity to do an episode of More Than A Youth Room. Here ‘s the video and, below, I share my top 10 take aways you can easily put to work in your own youth room.

Here’s 10 awesome room design ideas from the video

Retro Video Games

Why try to keep up with the new and shiny when you can go old school. Grab those retro game systems here and here to let kids go back to the future in their game play.

Designate A Room

Joe’s Orange Room is like a Green Room on those fancy talks shows, It’s a place for his volunteers to come chill and, as he says in the video, pray for one another. Yes, this is a luxury, but if you can make a room for leaders (even student leaders) why not do it? It communicates so much.

Hang Some CD’s Cases

I thought the CD’s on the wall was a nice touch. You could hang cd or even album covers. Maybe you could grab some old comic books you find at the thrift store and hang those as well.

Guest Services Area

Joe had a sweet area just for guests to connect. He had guest cards, info books, etc. You could combine the two if you have space issues. Having a guest areas says you value guests, you have with that guests will come, and you expect your kids to bring guests.

 Check In Area

This is for the regulars to come and check in. Joe gives the kids cards to swipe and check in with.

Cafe’ Area

I love that how Joe said, “No kids goes hungry.” Having a cafe, no matter how simple, allows us to meet a need in our group. The cafe is a great way to train kids in leadership and give them a responsibility as well as giving parents or other church people the opportunity contribute food or meals.

I love the ticket system. Tickets are handed out, discreetly, to kids who may have food availability issues.

You can grab some cool cafe stools here.

What’s Happening Area

How had his whole summer planned out and was clearly visible to students.

Use Of Neutral Colors

Joe was intentional not to favor any of the schools in his area and went with orange and gray.

Create A Home-Like Environment 

For many young people, youth is or could be a home away from home. Joe is intentional about creating this kind of space. How are you making your youth room more homey?

Prayer and/or Conversation Area

I love the five chairs Joe has in the back of the room. I know I have called up kids to receive Christ, but what a non-threating way for kids to come know the Lord. Having an area kids can come to after the meeting for prayer give youth workers a chance to connect with hurts and needs.

That’s it. These are my 10 design take aways. Did you have a favorite your going to steal or maybe is sparked a new idea. Let me know in the comments.

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