Sanctuary

What Happens Here

  • Public worship
  • Large group meetings
  • Drama and music productions

What to Look For

  • What does the character of the space say about the personality of the church?  Is it an accurate portrayal?
  • Is the room tall enough for its floor size, or does it seem like a well-finished basement?
  • Based on the prominence given to particular components or furnishings, what appears to be the most important aspect of worship?
  • Is the space dedicated to a single kind of activity?  If not, how easily is it converted to another use?  Are there provisions for changing the look and feel of the room to match the various activities that take place there?
  • Is seating fixed or flexible?  Do they use pews or chairs or a hybrid, such as theatre-type seating?
  • Is there a fixed platform or center of worship or can the center be relocated to vary the worship experience?
  • Does music generated on the platform sound lively and well-blended?  Are spoken words easy to hear and understand?
  • How well can you hear the people worshipping alongside you?  Do you feel like you’re singing alone?
  • How well can you see what’s going on at the platform?  How well can you see other people in the room?

Why It Matters

Worship space is more than an auditorium, and debate over its proper nature requires another book (beyond the hundreds already written).  But like an auditorium or concert hall, acoustics and sightlines matter. Patrons of secular concert halls demand good sound and visibility; participants in worship deserve nothing less.

Ideas

It’s easy to go too far.  Some churches fall in love with someone else’s worship style, or wipe out their budgets chasing the god of “just in case.”  Like the Cafetorium in your high school, these rooms may do nothing particularly well.

Start instead with a good understanding of who you are and what you do, and provide an infrastructure capable of accommodating growth and change.

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.