Creative Chaos: Youth Room

(Naming this Creative Chaos to join in with Carlos’ idea, but I haven’t taken the time to figure it all out yet)

Maybe y’all thought that I spent the week before Easter strategizing and scheduling our “Big House” worship programming; not so my friends. I am proud to say that I switched my focus to our Youth Ministry this week. If you’ve been following me for the past year you’ll know that we recently completed tenant improvements on a brand new 13,000 square foot tilt-up (basically it’s a big concrete box, four walls). We were able to carve out about 8-900 square feet for a youth room when all was said and done – not bad; I would have killed for a room like this when I was a youth pastor!

So back to the story. Our youth pastors are great guys, but let’s just say they have been technically/creatively challenged in the area of setting up a room. And as you know, if you’ve ever been involved in youth ministry, you get all the left overs, junk, stuff that no one wants to deal with. So their room for the past couple months has literally looked like a giant storage closet; couches, golf carts, BBQ’s, chairs, staging, trash, ping-pong tables, storage boxes – looked awful. So last week I did some brain storming and sketching – came up with this:

Not too detailed, mostly just a design that takes advantage of what we have right now. Here’s what we’ve got going on technically:
– 2) 32″ flat screen TV’s
– 1) Older 50-60″ TV
– 2) 10′ x 12″ box truss
– 2) EV non-powered mid-highs
– 4) Community non-powered 18″ subs (YES!)
– 1) Older iMac (doesn’t do dual screen, only mirroring; which stinks!)
– 1) Yamaha O1V 16 channel digital mixer
– 1) Behrringer crossover (yuck!)
– 1) Crest Audio power amp
– Miscellaneous microphones, stands, monitors, etc.
– VGA Splitter
– Scan Converter
– RF Converter
– Mistubishi x500 3500 lumen projector (awesome!)
– 3) 10′ sticks of flat truss
– Miscellaneous lamps
– Miscellaneous custom built wood staging

So what we did first was clear the room of all the junk that wasn’t youth ministry related. Then we tossed about 90% of the staging – it just took up too much area for such a small room. We saved 2 4′ x 4′ risers, one for teaching, one for leading worship. We set the subs vertically on their ends and then set the sticks of truss on top, so the truss now are about 13′ high. Then we set up 2 matching TV’s on some stage boxes and put them in front of the sub/truss configuration. We pushed these back as far as we could to make more room for chairs in the room – so the stage area is about 8′ x 20′, not much room, but they’ll be able to squeeze a band up there.
We also put the big beast TV in the center of the stage area – and there’s a 10′ x 14′ screen on the wall behind the stage. So when it is all running, we’ll have 4 areas of graphics/colors (3 TV’s and a giant screen). We also setup a couple lamps in the back corners of the stage area to give some ambient light – looks pretty good actually.
The way I ran the video configuration is a little wacky, but it works. We run out of the iMac into a VGA splitter. From the splitter we go out to the projector and to a scan converter. The scan converter converts to S-video, from that S-video we go into the RF converter. From the RF converter we go Coax out to the stage area, where we use simple coax splitters to send the signal to all the TV’s. The end product looks really cool.

What’s left?
– mount the mid-high speakers on the top of the truss.
– hang the flat truss which will house the center screen projector.
– secure cables that are all over the place right now
– run cables that are on order for subs
– get/hang sound abatement/decorative elements on the walls/ceilings
– get a better computer?
– hang some lights on the truss (front & back)
– build a mezzanine in the back of the room, for games & hang out area.

So, the point is, we made do with what we had. Most times there’s a lot more to work with if just look around and think creatively. Vision is being able to envision something before it exists. Excuses like not enough money, gear, people, etc. will always work against you – sometimes you just have to make something happen with little resources. We’ve still got lot’s to do, and I’ve still got tons to learn, which is why I love being able to share and learn from what is happening in other situations! I’ll post some more pictures once this project is closer to being complete.

8 thoughts on “Creative Chaos: Youth Room

  1. Billy Chia

    Nice Job. I was feeling the same thing this week int he field of “work with what you’ve got.” I’m pretty impressed with the stuff you had “just lying around.”

  2. Cole

    Wow, thats pretty awesome looking.

    I’m a student and were currently using our churches old worship center for our youth room, its actually been a nice set up, getting the sound set up right has been a challenge but i think thats always the case…in my experience anyway.

    Anyway, looks awesome.

  3. Jen White

    looking good! I’m checking it out this week! I bet the Youth are jazzed!

  4. Los

    Dude. That is sweet. Now all you have to do is point people back to the Crative Chaos post from today and you are all legit.

  5. jimkastkeat

    “Vision is being able to envision something before it exists.”

    great line, so true, great job with the room – it looks great!

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