As I come alongside congregations and help them assess their situation, discern God’s future for them, rethink their staffing patterns, and evaluate the adequacy of their facilities, I have some key factors or measurements I hope to see.
Regarding their facilities, one key factor is that they have all four types of restrooms.
In virtually all congregations--unless they send me away from the building to a location of one or more outhouses--I find at least two types of restrooms. There is one for females and one for males. Many congregations now have three types of restrooms. There is one for females, one for males, and one for toddlers. Generally, the toddlers’ restroom is located in the preschool area.
A minority of congregations now have a fourth type of restroom. These are generally called family restrooms. Multiple demographics of people use these. They include, but are not limited to, parents needing to manage multiple children as they use the restroom or change a diaper, parents with a child of a different gender they do not want to take into their restroom, people using adult diapers who want privacy, people in a wheelchair where another person assists them in using the restroom, and others I could name.
With all of this we now have the debate about transgender persons and which restroom they use. This is not just a political debate. Christians cannot just talk about what societal systems ought to do. They must also face this issue in their own church facilities. To fail to do so is a copout.