By Kim Walter -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Walking into the children's ministry section of Dynamic Life Praise and Worship Center in Front Royal, one thought immediately comes to mind -- it's colorful.
The area has received a complete overhaul thanks to Randy Triplett, founder and president of Creative for Kids, a company that specializes in kid-themed environments.
The walls of the children's main hall were once white, but they have recently received a train-themed mural that wraps around the room and spreads down a hallway and up a stairwell.
Elvi Rogers, the wife of Dynamic Life's pastor, said the idea came when her husband kept getting the feeling that the church needed a train.
"When my husband keeps thinking about something, and it won't go away, then we know it's God's message," she said. The church was able to raise funds to pay not only for Triplett art work, but also for an actual miniature train to use at the facility and in the community.
Triplett, who currently lives in Illinois, has spent the past two weeks air brushing his art onto the walls. He was an associate pastor for 10 years until he decided to take up drawing.
"It all started with a $3 book on cartooning," he said. Now, Triplett's company has painted more than 60,000 square feet of murals all over the country. Their next project will take Triplett to Canada.
Triplett has designed themes appropriate for all ages, like the train theme at Dynamic Life to a graffiti theme he did in Chicago. His company has also made over 600 products for churches that might not be able to afford a mural.
"We do character stickers and banners and even a paint by number type of thing," he said. "We're not one of those companies that either does the whole job or doesn't work with you at all. Any way that we can help a church appeal to children and reach out to the community, we will."
On average, churches who implement products or art work from Creative for Kids see a 24 to 34 percent increase in their congregation, Triplett said. He added that while he does do some biblical themed murals, they aren't his main focus.
"If a kid walks in and sees a burning bush or something like that, it's confusing," he said. "We want it to be fun. I want children to know that God is a pretty cool God."
Rogers said the train theme goes along with what they hope to do through the children's ministry and school at Dynamic Life.
"We want to train up a child to want a relationship with God," she said.
The church's youths will have their first look at the final product on Sunday. Rogers added that the church hopes to utilize the space by reaching out to more of the community. In the near future, the church plans to host a children's fair on various Saturdays in the summer and into the fall. The fairs will feature train rides, moon bounces, snow cones and popcorn.
Triplett was the only staff member of his company that came to complete the mural at Dynamic Life, but he didn't see it as a burden.
"This is about more than painting ... it has to be," he said.
For more information on Dynamic Life Praise and Worship Center, go to dynamiclifeministries.com. To learn more about what Creative for Kids has to offer, visit creativeforkids.com.