How To Create Cozy Spaces for Large and Small Gatherings
June 21, 2022

Champion innovation when you cater for small gatherings and intimate experiences in your church space.


Churches need innovative ways to create purposeful, intimate spaces for groups of all sizes. In the current season, we’re seeing churches lean towards flexible ways to accommodate smaller gatherings. Whether it’s small group gatherings or less-populated worship services, churches are finding themselves in a position of needing to create welcoming, attractive spaces for smaller groups. 

If you pause to think about the types of gatherings your church holds, you’ll probably find that except for your Sunday morning service, the majority of your gatherings are for smaller groups: weekly small groups, Bible studies, or affinity groups. And of course, this list could also include more intimate Sunday worship experiences.

What is needed the most when it comes to accommodating a variety of gatherings is flexibility. But don’t limit your thinking to folding chairs that can be packed away. You need to be able to reconfigure boundaries. What about portable walls? Churches need flexible options for equipment, furniture, and gear. 

FLEXIBILITY IS A MINDSET FOR SMALL GATHERINGS

At PCI, we also offer an entire design option called FlexSpace Solutions that accommodates the typical church’s pivoting needs. It’s important that you have a well-thought-through strategy that ensures your flexible space will look good, feel cozy, and cater to all your needs. FlexSpace will achieve that and more. 

Whether you utilize our solutions or not, here are the 5 smart ways that we’ve seen churches pivot and go from gatherings that are large to small (and possibly back again!).

Champion innovation when you create cozy environments for small and large gatherings in your church space.

5 Ways to Create Cozy Spaces for Large and Small Gatherings

1. Plan it

Consider your church’s story and your ministry vision. Don’t only look at where your church is now, what about 5 years from now? This will help you determine the kind of spaces and equipment you need. 

For instance, before you purchase carpets for your kidsmin, consider how those pieces might influence a gathering space. If you’ve invested in neutral-colored circular rugs and not hot pink rectangular ones, they’ll be useful as the anchor for a small Bible study setup as well as the children’s area. 

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2. Dream bigger, even if you’re thinking about small gatherings

Sometimes, you need someone with a trained eye who will envision a lot more than you can – whether you’re thinking of large or small gatherings. When you’re already in a venue, what you already have and are used to can cloud your vision. Consider contacting one of our experts to help you envision all the possibilities of making your space more flexible while maintaining a cozy atmosphere. 

For example, we might suggest pipe and drape as a means to create a smaller venue, or creatively positioning your chairs, scuba walls, and even your empty cases to partition an area. 

3. Use lighting strategically

On one hand, lighting only a section of a darkened area with no overhead lights will certainly communicate where the gathering is taking place. But on the other hand, it also communicates immediate cozy vibes and intimacy. To learn more about lighting, check out an article called Tips for Smart Portable Lighting.

Don’t forget – you won’t regret investing in flexible lighting for your kidsmin area, too. Plenty of research has shown that non-fluorescent options have a positive impact on mood and behavior. 

Champion innovation when you create cozy environments for small and large gatherings in your church space.

4. Make every gathering feel like a personal invite

When you are able to offer a hot drink, it has the potential to elevate the mood from a meeting to an intimate gathering. 

Think about the impact of a simple coffee station – with fresh coffee or tea in hand, attendees are more likely to stand around and visit when the scheduled activity is over. This provides literal intimacy as it curates an opportunity for people to connect and fellowship as opposed to bolting after the get-together. 

Coffee stations have the power to turn a gathering into an intimate event – literally. Instead of bolting once the meeting is over, attendees have the opportunity to visit and share with one another.  Click To Tweet

5. Consider an all-in-one package

We’ve been down this road with countless churches, designing for flexibility or converting existing designs into flexible ones. To make it simple for churches, we’ve put together solutions that will help any environment improve their flexibility. And for those who prefer custom solutions, we’ve got those, too. 

Transform any of these areas with FlexSpace Design solutions:

  • AVL
  • Welcome spaces
  • Cafes
  • Kids ministry
  • Youth areas
  • Libraries
  • Off-site AVL
  • Worship centers

Here’s what one church had to say about using FlexSpace:

“We have GREAT excitement from the city, and the possibilities at this campus launch are huge and not fully known yet. FlexSpace is allowing us to easily redefine our spaces and respond to the needs…even outside these 4 walls.” 

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THE VALUE OF CATERING FOR SMALL GATHERINGS

By positioning yourself to create comfortable, intimate spaces, you expand your church’s reach. When your church space is flexible and can cater to both big and small gatherings, it means that you will attract different cultures, different interests, and people with various needs. 

Book a call to discuss design solutions with one of our experts. We’d love to offer you a free, 30-minute consultation.