To Lock or Not to Lock
we travel the country with the workshop, we are asked many questions about
teaching, visuals, and the resource room. One matter seems to be brought up
constantly: Should a resource room be locked or not? Let’s consider the matter
from both the negative and positive.
Locking the room provides protection for our younger
a child walked unnoticed into the room. He might turn on the laminator, unlock
and play with the paper cutter, etc. If the room is locked unless it is open
and staffed, then children cannot hurt themselves or the equipment. The same
thing can be said for the cleanliness of the room. Locking the door means
children will not be able to play with the supplies, possibly leaving a mess
for others to have to clean up or even damaging materials.
Locking the room is practicing good stewardship.
congregation spends the Lord’s money to provide the equipment, supplies, and
materials in the resource room. When the door is open and anyone can enter at
any time, the items can be damaged or may simply "walk away,” never to be
seen again. No one means for that to happen, but a locked door and a checkout
system do significantly reduce the chances of that happening.
Locking the door increases the "we’re serious
about teaching Bible class” way of thinking.
begin to see their role as more significant when they realize the effort and
money the congregation is expending to help them do their job.
Locking the door may hurt someone’s feelings.
sad, but true. If everyone has always had access to everything, then Someone
may be upset if something is behind a locked door. While we do need to be
considerate of other’s feelings, we need to ask if feelings are a good reason
to ignore the positive aspects mentioned above.
Locking the door means teachers can’t get in whenever
they need to.
We are all busy people. We need to do what we need to do when we need to do it. And if the room is locked when we need to get in, that’s a real and legitimate issue. Enter the resource room staff. The people who work in the resource room should be willing to make themselves available to open the room and help teachers when the teachers need it. That may mean coming to the building on weeknights or Saturday. Teachers need to be reasonable in those requests recognizing that the staff has other responsibilities, too. If we all are considerate of one another, this issue is easily managed.
We realize that some congregations may have had an unlocked resource room for years. We share your joy if that has worked out successfully. However, our opinion based on many years of experience leads us to answer this question with a resounding YES.