The Furniture Mall has over 100,000 square feet of space, so why not share it? This past week we opened our space up to The Austin Stone, a New Testament church existing for the supremacy of the name and purpose of Jesus Christ. Many of their members were diligently typing away on their laptops, kicking back on a couch, or conversing on one of our dining sets. I got to sit down and chat with Hannah Penley, Kids Ministry Director of The Austin Stone, and ask her some questions about what they were using our space for.

What are you guys writing today?

So, we are the Kids Staff from The Austin Stone, and so we're writing kids curriculum for Sunday mornings. The way we structure our curriculum is we walk through the entire Bible, and we teach lessons through the Bible about who God is and about who we are.

people working on computers

People from The Austin Stone, working in our Howdy Café.

So, you make it more kid-friendly, more digestible?

Yep, we believe that the Bible is the words of life. We want our kids to know what it teaches and what the truth is in that. We take these Bible stories, that are written for everybody, and make them in a way that is accessible to kids. We don't water down the stories, we do activities, crafts and games.

Cool, so that's how you do it. Crafts, you guys ever put on plays?

We do Bible story videos, and then we have a time of teaching. We do crafts that relate back to the story because we always want to relate back to the story, back to what the Bible says about who God is.

What is the hardest part about breaking it down for kids?

I think the hardest part would be writing it in a way that doesn't water it down. We want to stay true to what the Bible says and what scripture says. So, making it accessible to kids doesn't mean taking parts out of it, it means keeping the truth the exact same because that is the words of life. We are just really careful to put it in a way that a 3-year-old could understand, versus in a way that a 30-year-old could understand.

How Did You Get Involved With the Furniture Mall?

Some of the partners of our church, some of the members of our church actually own this place--

Brian and Dan!

Yup, Brian and Dan. So, we heard about it, and we love the environment. It's fun to work in.


What work do you guys do in the community?

Our church does a lot in the city of Austin. We are 4 core convictions: We want to love God, we want to love the church, we want to love the city, and we want to love the nation. We want to take the truth of what we know to the city and to the nation. We partner with a lot of non-profits. One of our churches, the St. John location, opens its space for non-profits to have their office spaces there throughout the week. We do a lot of partnerships like that. We partner with a lot of homeless ministries in the area, different schools both public and private.

So, you can here basically as a little trade of community?

Yeah, we just wanted to take a day to write the curriculum and be really focused on it. We wanted to make it fun, you guys have a really fun environment here, and very comfortable couches and massage chairs. So, we wanted to jump in here and do some cool work, working in a cool space.

How do you guys not get distracted with each other? It must be hard when you are working with friends.

We definitely do a lot of distracting each other. We have lots of fun working together, but we also can get really focused. We were just talking through the calendar for the rest of the year, really deep things. We want to make sure the calendar of what we teach each Sunday, reflects--stays true to scripture, and stays true to the whole story of scripture. Through that, we were all joking and having fun. It's a really cool balance we have. Lots of fun, but we are still getting it done.

furniture store near me

The Austin Stone taking a picture on our big, green chair.


The Furniture Mall often gets involved with the greater community, and we are always looking for more opportunities to help. If you'd also like to utilize our space, come on down and grab a coffee in our Howdy Café, while settling down in one of our comfiest couches. We have locations in Topeka, Olathe, and Austin.


Written by Emily Holleran