When your church is growing you might reach a point where the building starts to feel small and cramped. When members of a church staff reach this point they often start to consider building a new church. However, long before you consider this expensive option, you should make sure that you are using your smaller building to its absolute capacity.
Most churches don’t use space well, especially since the traditional way of using space is not efficient. The typical church sets up rooms for singular purposes, then is frustrated when it seems like there’s never enough room.
Flexibility of space is the way to go for the modern small church. Here are a few tips to help you stop daydreaming and start recreating your space into one that you love for years to come.
1. Maximize wasted space.
There are so many areas in a church that aren’t well-utilized. Each space can be used more effectively, giving you extra square footage you didn’t know you had! For example, the foyer is often just a space for hanging coats and wiping feet off before entering the main part of the building. Instead, turn it into a welcome station.
Set up tables and stock them with muffins, coffee, and tea. Have church welcomers stand next to the tables to invite people in and make them feel comfortable. Set up a few comfortable chairs to invite people to stay a while and chat with one another. Not only will you use the space more effectively, you’ll also help to build fellowship.
2. Choose flexible furniture.
The days of bolted down wooden bench pews are in the past for most churches. While they have an old-fashioned feel that many like, they aren’t practical or efficient. Other types of furniture throughout the building might be restricting your ability to effectively use the space, too. Always pick chairs and tables that can be moved around, stacked, and perhaps even folded up for effective storage. Don’t skimp on quality or comfort, just make sure the furniture is useful in many areas.
3. Make the sanctuary more adaptable.
The sanctuary is the “home” of the church building and many feel that it should only be used for Sunday worship. If your church is open to the idea, try to use that space for more than just Sunday services. The sanctuary can provide the space you need for activities throughout the week, as well. By choosing flexible furniture for the space, you also make it possible to rearrange the space to fit any event.
4. Set up rooms for multipurpose use.
Every classroom and other functional space should be set up for use by many types of groups. Change the way you store items in each room so as to maximize space and use storage in better ways. Make it possible for everyone to use each space and you’ll never run out of room for an event.
5. Stay open minded and continue to assess usage.
Some of your members might feel a little resistant to making the space more flexible and instilling big changes. Be patient with them and involve them in the process of transforming the building. Designate a team to continually assess how the church is using the building and find ways to maximize use. Strategize the way you use furniture and develop innovative storage solutions. Be open to new ideas, visit other small churches to glean new suggestions, and daydream together about the best ways to build a thriving congregation.
When you need to update your furnishings and make your church space more flexible, reach out to Advantage Church Chairs. We offer a wide selection of chairs and tables, customization options, and excellent customer service. You can find us online at advantagechurchchairs.com and by calling 1 (855) 294-0532.