Whether you have an existing facility or are planning a new church building project, furnishes are an important aspect that should not be neglected. Furnishings play a key role in a guest’s first impressions; it helps create the spaces for people to gather and share their lives and walk with the Lord.
Furniture should be appropriate for the use of each space. Often spaces are multi-use so furnishings should be planned to allow for flexibility as well. Comfort, durability and aesthetics should be top priority for worship seating, whether your style dictates Pews, Auditorium Seating or Worship Chairs. Secondary spaces such as Classrooms are also important — this is where you are teaching the Word of God and Discipleship.
Furniture is also stewardship investment and should be considered that way. Second hand furniture can give the appearance that your space is not important — appropriate and well kept furniture shows pride in ownership and presents a welcome message to your congregation and most importantly to your guests.
Furniture should be commercial grade. Residential furniture should never be used in a church building. Although commercial grade furniture is more expensive than residential, there are three reasons to avoid it. Because a church building is considered a commercial space, fire code requires commercial grade furniture. If you have residential furniture, especially soft seating like sofas, the fire marshal could require you to remove it. Imagine you just purchased new furniture and are not able to use it in your space. The warranty will likely be void on residential furniture as well if it is use in a commercial setting. Commercial grade furniture is also more durable than residential and is therefore a better stewardship investment.
Furniture should be planned early in the process — set your budget and goals accordingly. If you have existing commercial furniture, you may be able to give it new life by re-upholstering it rather than replacing it. Even old padded pews can have new life by being refinished and re-upholstered. Or perhaps professional cleaning may be in order to refresh existing furniture.
Just as Solomon put great care into the temple furnishings in 1 Kings 7, your church building is the Lord’s House and should reflect the best you have to offer Him! There are always budget constraints for church building projects; the key is wise stewardship of your furniture investment.
– Jennifer Snider, Interior Designer
The McKnight Group