To Lock or Not to Lock

As 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.

The Positive

Locking the room provides protection for our younger students.

Assume 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.

A 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.

Teachers 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.

The Negative

Locking the door may hurt someone’s feelings.

It’s 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.