What Happens Here

  • Reception of visitors
  • Conference space
  • Private and semi-private workspace
  • Administrative work and storage space

What to Look For

  • Can everyone entering the office area be seen from a front desk or other vantage point?
  • If the church is located in a high-risk area, how are security concerns addressed?
  • What percentage of office staff have private offices?  How is this accomplished?  How are other workspaces defined?  How effective is this?
  • Is space provided for occasional volunteers or part-time staff?
  • How does the church provide for new ministries requiring dedicated staff or volunteers? Is there any space that serves as an “incubator” for new ministry?
  • Is there a way for pastoral staff to exit the office area without passing through a public reception area?
  • Is there dedicated conference space, or are classrooms available for meetings?

Why It Matters

It’s tempting to think of office space as “overhead,” every ministry needs a base of operation.  Jesus routinely sought out gardens, private homes and upper rooms in which to gather and prepare His team.

Decide whether ministry leaders will be together, allowing maximum interaction, or near the site of their primary ministry (a music rehearsal space or student area) in order to interact better with those they serve.


Allowances for staff workspace is one of the hardest pieces of the puzzle to get right.  Ratios between staff and attenders range from 1:50 to 1:200 (or more) due to differing models of   leadership and varying approaches to the role of volunteers.

The height of partitions, or so-called “cubicles,” can have a significant effect on office noise levels.  Ironically, lower partitions can result in a quieter workspace, since they don’t offer a false sense of privacy.  For true aural privacy, though, there is no substitute for a fixed, full-height enclosure with a door, but fewer staff positions require this than one might think.

Room x Room posts are brief examinations of the nature, purpose and potential of typical spaces used in ministry. The intent is to help users see and consider how each component contributes to (or hinders) the ministry it serves.