Informal Seating

What Happens Here

  • Friends can visit with each other out of the way of traffic
  • Greeters can spend time with visitors out of the way of others
  • Senior adults, parents of young children and others can “park” long enough to rest or get organized
  • Informal team or class group gatherings

What to Look For

  • Is the style of seating consistent with the overall “flavor” of the church?
  • Is seating arranged in large groups or “banks,” or in small clusters?
  • Are chairs or sofas easy to get into and out of?
  • Is the furniture wearing well?  Is it of a current or “timeless” style?
  • Do features like tables, fountains or fireplaces make the seating area identifiable within the larger environment?

Why It Matters

Ideally, one of the distinguishing features of the church is the focus on “one another.”  In addition to the practical benefits it offers, a place to sit can foster communication that matters.

Ideas

Up until recent years, an over-simplified description of the transaction between church and newcomer would be something like this:  a visitor familiar with the culture tests the authenticity of the organization’s conceptual proposition, elects to join, and begins to engage the community of the church.

Today, ideas and “facts” are easy to come by and authenticity is rarer.  It is far more likely that this sequence will be reversed: a visitor unfamiliar with the culture will test the church’s community to see how real it is before either accepting its ideas or becoming a member.

Providing wide places in the corridors that deliver us, sometimes too efficiently from program to place are one way that buildings can facilitate the sloppy process of living together in public that characterizes a healthy church.

Room x Room posts are brief examinations of the nature, purpose and potential of typical spaces used in ministry. The intent is to help users see and consider how each component contributes to (or hinders) the ministry it serves.