Church Seating – How Would Jesus Sit?

Pastor Dan Kimball of Vintage church posted an interesting history of pews and church seating. As he points out, pre-reformation, people did not sit in fixed seating. I chuckled when he painted the mental picture of the Last Supper in pews. Want to be a new testament church? Then get out of those pews and rows of locked chairs and get more relational in your gathering.

I attended a post modern service with multiple “stations” where you could take the Lord’s Supper, pray at the foot of a large cross, pray with like-minded people, or enjoy the teaching of one of the pastors. While at first I found it a somewhat disconcerting experience, that quickly morphed to a one of a deep spiritual experience that I was sad to have come to an end.

We talk about churches being relational. Most churches today have the forced “meet and greet time” where we are all encouraged to turn, great and shake hands with someone. In my personal opinion its a somewhat shallow experience and not one that fosters true communication or relations. Then, after our 2 minutes of “relating”, we spend the next 45 minutes looking at the back of their heads. Its no wonder that many wonder why they don’t connect better with visitors.

Church seating fanning out nearly 180 degrees, with the pulpit as the center point, does at least let us see the faces of others that are worshiping with us. How uplifting it is to see the faces of people in true worship. And by being able to see each other during worship, we get to know people a little bit, even if somewhat removed.

So, back to my question, which is the title of this post. How would Jesus sit? We know that they used to sit together, sometimes even reclining against each other. I encourage us all to get outside the box and start designing sanctuaries and classrooms that are intentional in their design to create relationships with each other, and our Lord.