Pews or Chairs? That Is the Question When It Comes to Church Seating

There is a statistic that reports that more than 9 out of each 10 churches building new facilities today will choose church chairs over pews for their primary worship seating. While we cannot testify as to the complete legitimacy of that statistic, we can certainly attest that it is compatible with our own empirical data that we christian mysticism the year. What follows are the 3 primary reasons that churches share with us today as to why they desire chairs versus pews for their new worship facilities. If your church is involved in a construction project or pursuing one in the near future, these 3 reasons will be of interest to you.

  • #1 is FINANCIAL: We suspect that this stated reason does not come a surprise to anyone reading! Church chairs are simply far less expensive than church pews and do not require expensive installation. Chairs are available with a wood frame construction in the same way pews are manufactured from wood. And when a church desires wood frame chairs, then the overall cost savings over pews will not be as significant. But church chairs today primarily utilize metal frames which results in the reality that a church can acquire 2-3 metal frame church chairs for every one chair with a wood frame (which translates into a similar or even greater cost for the same amount of pew seating). With churches discovering they can cut their worship seating expenses by more than half, it is not hard to comprehend why churches are overwhelmingly choosing chairs over pews.

  • #2 is FLEXIBILITY: Most churches in our day are finding it financially difficult to construct spaces that have only one purpose and are used only a few hours a week. Instead they find themselves building spaces that can be used not only for their main worship gatherings, but also reconfigured to allow for a variety of other activities as well. In addition to this, younger generations tend to not appreciate “brick and mortar” spending, at least for that which they deem redundant and unnecessary.

    The utilization of church chairs results in your church having the flexibility to arrange your seating for numerous other purposes. Chairs can be arranged in rows and in circles, chairs can be used around tables, and chairs can be taken up and stacked and placed out of the way for other activities requiring a large amount of open space. When this flexibility is contrasted with the static nature of pews that are affixed to your structure, the disparity is immense.

  • #3 is FEEL: The choice your church makes between pews versus chairs obviously will have a great effect upon the “feel” that your new worship space will possess. Church pews, no matter how they are manufactured and or how many options are added to them, are going to possess and communicate an environment more from a traditional background. Church chairs though, no matter how they are manufactured and how many options are added to them, are going to possess and communicate a more contemporary sense.

    Also, in most cases chairs can help facilitate a higher level of excitement in your worship environment. Rooms that feel crowded invariably increase the sense of excitement versus rooms that are half-empty. With church chairs, a church that constructs a new worship space that can hold 500 chairs for example, could decide to only set up 325 chairs to begin with because that is all they presently need. With strategic aisle and row spacing, they can assist in the room feeling more “full” even though they have the ability to reconfigure and add another 175 chairs to their space as they grow as a church. But throughout the entire journey, they are able to enhance the feel of a full room.

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