Monday, March 03, 2008


What do a shopping center, a 100 year old building, and a state of the art multi-acre complex have in common? Answer: they were all stops on the annual CPC Pre-Conference Church Tour. The church tour is one of my favorite parts of CPC, because I can get ideas about environments and "theme-ing out" rooms and areas. And though many of the churches I have visited over the years have a budget that outscales ours, some of their decorating leans more toward creativity than purchase-power.

Our first stop was local: North Coast Church in Vista. This church acquired a good chunk of a shopping center and turned it into a multi-building, multi-venue campus. I was impressed by their organization and creativity (I don't have all my pics to share in this post, but I have to say that the Narnia room was incredible!)

Entrance to the children's section, with canopied check-ins

One of the large group gathering areas.

First Christian Church of Huntington Beach seemed a long way from San Diego, but the ride actually took me within a short hop of where my wife and I used to live when we resided in the Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach area. This is a very old building which has gone through a lot of changes and transitions in the area of children's ministry. The church is going to be building a new facility soon, but in the meantime, they get points for creatively using resources to effect a theme.

The section where the children's ministries are held

The treehouse room...what if a kid designed and built it? That's the idea!

The tek room for the older kids. Amazing what some donated tvs and some tubing can help create.

The last stop on the tour was Mariner's Church in Irvine. Oh my! If there was an epitome of the word "mega-church", it would be this sprawling campus. The kids building looks like a corporate headquarters of a major business. Inside, of course, is the most important business of all: kids. Still, I saw evidences of decidedly low-tech, low-budget touches in this incredibly sophisticated building.

All I can say is "wow"

Early childhood staging area

4th and 5th grade staging area. Notice the gift-wrapped boxes in the back...hey! I can do that!

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