This is one thing that all kidmin leaders envy.

We all look at with jealousy in our eyes.

It’s something that never seems to be a priority in most building projects.

Some call it a resource room, some call it a storage space and others call it a backstage area. Regardless, of what it’s called, every kidmin leader want a great one. One of my favorite things at LifeAustin is our kid’s backstage storage space.

When my church designed the kids space about 5 years ago, the designers made the storage space for kid’s ministry a huge priority (crazy, right?). So with each of my large group areas I have a backstage that allows me to store anything and everything. Most church buildings don’t design with storage in mind. Without this space though, I would be unable to do most of my activities. In some ways it is an extension of my large group area. Without it, all my stuff would be piled into a corner taking up other space that could be used for kids. It allows me to store all the extra game supplies, small group supplies, and all of our themed props.

If organized well, you can place and prep for any lesson and have great illustrations every at the ready every single Sunday. The problem is that you have to be able to find stuff. We organize everything by category and that allows us to find what we need.

Ribbons, string and magnets – typical supplies for small group.
Bowling pins, flashlights and basketballs – typical props we’ll use in large group.

It’s all there right when we need it.

Sometimes I even keep a pillow/sleeping bag in a inconspicuous container up high for when my manager makes me work all night or that time when my wife changed the locks at home.

We found that it’s all about how you use the space. Our ceilings are high so it is difficult utilize all of our space. Because of this, we put items that are seasonal up top (christmas decorations, easter eggs and halloween props). Things we use on a weekly basis go in the bottom two areas.

Our biggest biggest issue (even though we have amazing space) is the fact that things go missing (all the time). Things are moved. Things aren’t put away properly. People put stuff somewhere randomly because they don’t know where else it goes (like a big piece of furniture… really?).

Of all my great things within my children’s ministry, my backstage is defiantly my favorite thing.

Regardless of your backstage/supply space, here are a few things that help you make the most of the space you have:

  1. Keep it organized – Even If you have a big space, if you don’t keep it organized, you wont be able to find anything.
  2. Make sure that more than one person sets it up. You can’t just have one person that organizes, cleans, preps that area because you will always have more than one person using it. You need to cross train multiple volunteers on how to find thanks and properly put them away. If you don’t,  your space will get out of control and you won’t be able to find anything.
  3. Keep it clean – These spaces can tend to get gross. Keep it tidy and clean as it’s an issue of stewardship. Be good with what you have and you’ll be ready for more… I think there is a bible story illustration in there somewhere.