Have you ever gone to a social event where there were not enough seats for each person in attendance? Or have you found yourself at a sporting event on a hot, aluminum stadium seat purposing to prioritize the immediate purchase of a stadium bleacher seat for grandstand comfort so you can enjoy future games without the distraction of discomfort?
Seating is often taken for granted until it’s either missing or uncomfortable—and church seating is no exception.
There are many ways to make people feel welcome and comfortable in your sanctuary, and nothing is more tangible than the chair they sit in, so your choice in seating directly impacts each church member’s ability to participate in and enjoy the worship service from start to finish.
The goal in choosing seats is to maximize your church members’ ability to participate fully in the church experience and minimize distraction and discomfort. Seating needs to be practical, functional, affordable, durable, and attractive. Let’s look at how various seating options stack up against each other so we can make informed decisions and provide the optimal choice for our congregation.
Church culture and trends change throughout the years. Traditional pews were the primary source of seating for decades in churches. Pews originated in England in the 13th century, with stone benches at the walls. Later, wooden pews were built and enjoyed by church members around the globe.
The comfort, workmanship, and character of modern pews add beauty, strength, and function to sanctuaries worldwide. Traditional churches embrace the style and consistency of pews in their denominational churches across the world.
Families and generations can literally share a pew as they worship together weekly. Bonding takes place as young generations are quieted, rocked, given a bottle, and passed from grandparents to aunts, and back to their parents during the church experience. Pews give a sense of community, of oneness, to the church experience—and people love them.
Pews are customizable: the pew end, body, and accessories are available in a host of styles—with added upholstery for comfort and church design elements. Today’s churches integrate pews and personalize them to fit their sanctuary’s style. Pews are durable, functional, attractive, and family friendly.
Theater Seating Advantages
Churches who opt not to build pews, or who decide to exchange their pews for more contemporary seating options, typically consider fixed auditorium seating—also known as theater seats.
Theater seating gives an up-to-date atmosphere to a sanctuary. This type of seating accommodates more people per square foot than pews typically can. Theater seating maximizes seating opportunities because people only use one seat—unlike some of the traditional pew users who spread their purse and Bible out next to them—taking up 1-2 seats.
Stackable Chair Benefits
The multipurpose use of a sanctuary is practical and affordable for many churches. With today’s churches trending toward providing a variety of activities for church members and community involvement regularly, stackable chair options produce a great deal of flexibility worth considering. Chairs give a designated amount of space to each church member—therefore they provide greater comfort.
The price of stackable chairs is a sensible reason for choosing them. Churches can even rotate the chairs they use each week so they all get the same wear over the years. And the convenience of movable chairs offers a quick solution when additional seating is needed on short notice. The optional layout changes and room configurations are endless—so stackable chairs are a great option—particularly for today’s new church plants.
Questions to ask before choosing church seating:
- How do we plan to use our sanctuary space?
- What fits our budget?
- What style do we desire?
- How will our decision affect us 10 – 15 years from now?
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