A few years ago I (Dave Edgar) needed something that would add the “wow factor” to our programming and to help build some momentum. I wanted something that teenagers in our youth ministry could brag about to their friends at school and in turn would become a great tool for them to invite their friends to our youth ministry. As one of my leaders and I sat in my office we had a light bulb moment! We wanted to renovate an old caravan that we can set up out the front of our church where teens can hang before youth. Something that was cool! Something that had an Xbox & tv in it. Something that we could run a Dj set out of. Something that would turn heads! I was only a few months into the job as youth pastor but could see some big potential in what this van could do for our youth ministry. We jumped on a local trading website and began to look for old retro caravans, but they were all so expensive! We ended up finding an old silver van for about $1500AUD which was perfect for what we wanted, but there was no way I was prepared to spend that much on this idea. I started to serious doubt the viability of what we had dreamed up. The leader I had in my office with me jokingly said “we should just ask them to give it to us….” So thats what we did. The person selling this caravan wasn’t a christian and we had never even met him before, but I learnt something that day…. Never underestimate what random people will give you when you tell them you run a christian youth ministry in the ghetto! We got this old van, gutted the inside, built some benches, bolted a TV to it, set up a surround sound system, painted the inside black, put some new wheels and tyres on it & loaded it up to kingdom come with cheap led neon strips which are remote activated (you can buy these strips on ebay for about $30aud per 10m).
Our teenagers were pumped when we rolled this out at youth! We take this van into local high schools and run Dj’s out of it. We’ve taken it on youth camps & used it on schools tours and big outreach nights. This was a fun project to do with some of our boy leaders & highly recommend doing something similar if you want to make something cool for your foyer experience. We ended up spending $700aud in total on parts to get this thing up and running & it was worth every cent!