iKids_fixedDo you remember playing the “I spy” game as a child? I do.

Today I’m sitting in the lobby of a large children’s ministry area at a church in Woodstock, Georgia. The first floor, below the worship center that seats 7,500 people, is the nursery and preschool area. It’s huge. While in the lobby waiting for a meeting to begin, this is what I spy. See if you can spy what smarts I’m using.

I like the painting on the wall. Is it their logo? It’s a letter “i” with a smiling face as the dot. I notice a poster and see that it’s the “i” in front of “Kids.” So, “iKids” must be their preschool ministry’s name.

Is it clever to play off the iPod, iPhone, iTunes technology craze? Unnecessary? A good idea?

I wonder if the colors in the logo mean anything. Red, purple, green and orange. Is it one color for each age? Are the hallways painted with these colors? I have to get up and explore. Yes, infants, 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s all get a color and a hallway. That makes sense. It might help parents remember where to go when they arrive in the building.

The chair I’m in is very comfortable. There are three groupings of two chairs and one chair across from me. I wonder where the missing chair is. I know it’s orange.

For such a large number of families coming through this area, they sure don’t have many chairs. I guess they don’t want to encourage anyone to just sit around.

The round tables between the chairs are cool. I wonder if any little boys and girls have tried to tip them over and roll them down the hall. If they weren’t as heavy as I think they are, that would work and be fun. But, I could imagine some kids trying to use them like rolling pins to flatten anything and anyone who gets in their way. Good thing I predict they’re too heavy for a child to tip over.

There are five laptops on the shelf to my left. They’re attached to the machines that print out nametags. Do the lines get long on Sunday mornings? I wonder how visitors feel about systems like this? Safe? Impersonal? So many churches use these now. I understand the need to be efficient and safe.

I love the fish-tank embedded in the wall across the lobby. Whoever figured out how to do that was brilliant. It’s at the eye level of the kids and no one has to worry about them putting hands in the water or tipping it over. There aren’t a lot of fish, but the ones there are active. I wonder how they’re fed and how the tank is cleaned.

The carpet is hysterical. Only in a lobby of a children’s ministry building! Different colors. Different designs. I’d get a headache if I stared too long, but it’s really fun. I wonder if Randy has ever thought of turning his art into carpet?! We’ve talked about textiles, scarves, etc., but carpet? I wonder.

Grateful. That’s my emotional response. I’m grateful the staff at this church preach and teach truth and understand that children’s ministry must be prioritized. I think it would be amazing to be here on a Sunday to meet the children and their parents and feel the energy and love I know will be here.

Okay….What smarts did you spy? You can exercise your smarts in the same way wherever you find yourself. Challenge your children to use as many as possible and compare.