We’ve been focusing on the various areas of your church design that matter when making a good first impression. We started with some logical areas, like the lobby and café, then reminded you about the importance of restrooms. Now we’re turning our attention to the space in your church building that is definitely very important: your worship space.

First Church Design Question: Multi-ministry or Dedicated Worship Space?

Before we start diving into details, it’s important to determine whether you intend your worship center to be a multi-ministry space or dedicated only to worship. That will determine the finishes you will use for the space. For example, in this first photo, from Wayne Street Methodist Church, you can easily see that they have a traditional church vision. Guests’ first impression makes that clear with the use of pews and stained-glass windows, which were brought over from their prior church building.

In contrast, this photo, of Crossview Church, shows a multi-ministry space. You can see that there’s a transition in the carpeting, from the carpet that’s also in the lobby, to a lighter, but more practical, multi-use carpeting that allows them to use this space for athletics during the week. (If you look up at the ceiling, you can see the retracted basketball goal.)

Making a Good First Impression with Different Seating Selections

You might also notice that the chairs in the Crossview Church building have finished upholstery on the backs, which makes a better first impression than seeing hardware on the back of every chair. Other seating options include the color variations in this photo from the worship center at Cypress Wesleyan. The psychology behind this seemingly random selection of two colors is that it helps to break up a long row of chairs, making it and more inviting to the eyes of both guests and attendees.

Another option is theater-style fixed seating, as you can see in this image from First Church of God in Columbus. These theater style chairs are bolted to the floor and were chosen for their comfort and ease of use. In contrast with pews (the fixed seating option used by Wayne Street Church above), the armrests make it easier for older people to get in and out of the seats, while also breaking up the sense of a long row. Fully upholstered seats are also more comfortable than padded pews. Church leaders at First Church of God did choose to have movable upholstered chairs in the back half of this worship space, giving them a mix of fixed and movable seating for increased flexibility.

Other Finishing Options in Your Church Building

Beyond chairs and carpeting, notice the stone wall behind the platform in the First Church of God photo. It naturally draws the eye to the front of the church building space. To the left is another area of stone, behind the baptistry, which is one way to make an elegant first impression while also emphasizing the importance of baptism for people who worship in your church building.

There are many elements to making a good first impression with the worship space in your church building. Usually, these finishes are chosen with an eye toward supporting your church vision for ministry in your community. To learn more about all that we take into consideration when working on your church design, sign up for our next free i3 webinar.