Your ministries are growing which is good news. But the bad news is that you lack enough separate areas to handle more Sunday School Classes, the new Day Care Ministry and all other programs common to growing churches.
You do have large open areas in your gymnasium and fellowship hall. Can these possibly be utilized to help with your “growing pains?”
This was a very difficult question to answer prior to the late ‘80’s. Thanks to the creative work of a church architect who dealt with the growing needs of churches for years, his idea was to build versatile, flexible, portable room dividers which were made of sound absorbing, tackable panels and were easy to use. Open areas can now easily be used by two, three or more different ministries all at the same time. The most widely used line of these dividers folds for storage to fit in an area no larger than an office chair, storing them is easy. All dividers use hard rubber casters so they easily glide from one area of the church to another.
Freestanding, Wallmount, and Portable Classroom are the three basic lines of Portable Room Dividers in the family. Like the auto industry each line has different makes, models, and options and the same is true for the Portable Room Divider industry. Here are some details as to the differences and which line of divider best satisfies certain needs within a church.
The Freestanding line is the most popular line of Portable Room Dividers for growing churches. It is a self contained divider which does not need to be installed in tracks in the ceiling or floor for support. Freestanding dividers can be rolled easily into position in the Fellowship Hall, Gymnasium etc. Once in place, a simple latch is unlocked and the dividers unfold “accordion style”. They can be set up in virtually any configuration, the most popular is a simple straight line, or with one ninety degree turn.
Why is this line of dividers the most popular? The answer is simple, its freestanding condition with casters allows it to be rolled from one room to another, or from one part of the room to another part in seconds. A growing church can use these dividers to subdivide the Fellowship Hall in the morning for the Child Care and in the afternoon, the dividers can be used in the same room to create separate areas for the Men’s and Women’s Clubs which need to use the room simultaneously. In the evening the divider can be rolled easily out of the Fellowship Hall and into the gymnasium where they can be used to create several classrooms for Bible Study. It is amazing how participation in classes increases when students, children and adults alike have the privacy of their own classroom!
An example of how Freestanding Room Dividers are used is Cannaan Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Their large, high school gymnasium was absolutely perfect for sporting events, and their Sunday School/Bible study ministries were growing. Could the large, gymnasium be quickly turned into classrooms, and back into a gymnasium for the youth sports ministry just as quickly? Yes with versatile, flexible room dividers. Every Sunday morning the teachers simply roll out the dividers into the large gym from their storage area and set up 20 Sunday School Classrooms in minutes. When class is over, the dividers are folded and rolled away to be used during the week to make efficient use of the space in the Fellowship hall where other programs are held.
Church leaders know sometimes that they will need versatile, tackable, sound absorbing dividers in the same room for many years. It’s been shown that the number of classrooms needed and the approximate number of students remain reasonably consistent. In this situation Wallmount Dividers can be the divider of choice. One end of the Wallmount divider is mounted to a wall where the folded panels stay in their stored condition. In this situation the wide open room and can be used for choir practice or any other ministry requiring open spaces. When the room is needed for class or for any other purpose…blood drive etc…the dividers are unfolded easily on their casters and set up in the desired configuration. Wallmount Dividers are more economical than Freestanding Dividers, but since one end is fixed to a wall they lack the mobility of the former.
Lastly, what do you do when your church is growing and needs dividers to provide the privacy for a class, a markerboard to be used during the lesson, and a cabinet to store the Sunday School materials? You could buy all the component parts separately. But, the most popular method church leaders use to combine all of the above is the Portable Classroom line of Room Dividers. Just imagine rolling piece of furniture with a height of approximately 6’6”, the bottom half is a cabinet with adjustable shelving where materials can be stored. The top half is a 42”x36” markerboard for writing. Now, where are the dividers? Cleverly concealed inside two hidden chambers…one on the left and one on the right side of the cabinet are where the dividers reside. To access the dividers simply roll up the Tambour doors on either side. Once the tambour doors are open you can easily extract 16’6” of the versatile divider out of each chamber. The total dividing capability of the Portable Classroom is amazingly 37 feet (a 4ft. wide cabinet and two 16’6” tackable dividers). For those who “want it all”, the Portable Classroom line of Portable Room Divider is just what you need.
There are 3 basic lines of versatile flexible room dividers administrators of churches use to help manage their space in an efficient, economical fashion. Each divider comes in a variety of heights, lengths and colors to match the needs of any church:
1) Freestanding: can glide easily throughout one room or from room to room. The divider unfolds in seconds in any configuration that you desire.
2) Wallmount: likewise unfolds in seconds in any configuration that you desire…with one end affixed always to a wall.
3) Portable Classroom: combines a storage cabinet, markerboard and a total of 37’ of dividing capability in one beautiful piece of equipment.
If you want to get the most use out of your valuable floor space while your ministries are growing at the same time, consider versatile, flexible room dividers!