As with every time-period, the feel and style of churches change. Centuries ago, the common church was a simple, austere building with hard, wooden pews. Now in the day and age of technology and comfort, church leaders are learning to adapt to the culture. Church leaders are making an effort to create a welcoming and joyful atmosphere in their sanctuaries in order to attract people who normally are adverse to the harsh stereotypes of ‘church’.
Also, churches are becoming quite popular as recreation centers of fellowship halls during the week or following Sunday services. Church leaders are eager to make the utmost use of their facilities. This makes flexible seating a critical matter.
Traditional pews are heavy, awkward, and immovable when catering to large events. A popular and practical alternative is finding seating that is easy to move, stack up, and store.
Though it may seem that this new trend is just church leaders compromising and trying to appear less church-like to be more ‘seeker-friendly, the reason is often much different: finances. Most church budgets are tight and cannot afford to keep up a building especially for non-worship events. They are finding that their church must be multi-functional. Also, they are finding that it is possible to make this change and still keep worship as the primary use.
This decision is not only sensible but prudent. It saves money that can be used in other areas of ministry as well as maximizing the use of the building they have.
But once the church building committee makes the decision to design a multi-purpose building, it must face the issue of seating. The smart option of flexible seating still has decisions in and of itself. Should chairs be made of wood or have metal-frames? While wood looks much more traditional and respectable, metal is more practical and efficient.