I ask the questions below not to preach or criticize or even head in a particular direction. Rather, I want to probe a relatively surface-level aspect of church facilities — furniture — as a means of looking beneath the surface at values that may be implied by related choices.
What might it imply about a church and its values when the pulpit/lectern is the most elevated piece of furniture in the gathering hall?
And what if the table used for communion elements is later placed higher than the pulpit? (Sub-question: what does this say about the leader who pushes for the re-positioning?)
What does it imply if the table used for unleavened bread and juice/wine are stationed in the back of the hall? Or if there are is no table at all?
What if the stage is large enough to hold a 40-voice choir and boasts five throne-like chairs for all the official leaders?
And if the pews are straight, facing directly toward the front, or if the left and right sections are angled slightly toward each other?
What if there are a) comfy chairs in the lobby/foyer/entry hall and b) hard pews in the gathering hall? And if there are castoff pieces of living room furniture in the adult Bible classrooms and new, and brand new, brightly decorated furnishings in the children’s classrooms?
This is not groundbreaking stuff; the probing may have little eternal significance. Still, these are questions that could be asked by self-assessing congregations with a view toward helpful insight into values and potential impressions made on those who meet together.