Education Center. Adult Learning Communities. Classrooms. Ministry Training Center. Cornerstone Classes. We have tossed around a lot of names for these groups over the years, and at times the form of the spaces that these groups have met in have changed to suit the kinds of gatherings they are. Whatever we call this space, we need to have some of it. Basically, we are talking about spaces that are designed for adults to meet and have classes in.
We have been keeping track of the number of people who have participated in various learning opportunities over the past year or so, and the numbers are staggering – over 600 individual people have participated in some kind of adult ‘class’ on either Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings in the past year. This includes ongoing classes like the Berean Class and Crossroads, semester-length classes like the marriage class and the personal finances class, and the seminars that occur in conjunction with our monthly community dinners. One of our strategic ministry initiatives is to significantly increase the opportunity for adult Christian education. How does all of this translate into space?
We decided that we would plan enough space for 325 adults to participate in adult learning opportunities at the same time, divided into five classrooms ranging in capacity from 25 people to 125 people. In addition, we hope to have the conference room, part of the administration space, accessible to also be used for an adult gathering space. It is also possible that we will have one or both of the largest classrooms able to be split into two classrooms, but the building committee is divided on that issue (haha – get it?!).
We hope to have storage space within the classrooms for extra tables and chairs, so that the rooms will be as uncluttered as possible. We plan to have sufficient space within each room for a table for food and beverages, class materials, etc., and sufficient space for the teacher of the class to move around without being right on top of the front row of participants. Technology will be taken into account for these rooms, too, with easy-to-access projection, as well as amplification in the larger rooms.
Once again, just as in all of these elements of the program, we need to hold this loosely. Eventually we will know more about how much each of our ideas costs, and then we may have to make some choices. This is where we’re starting, though.