How to Change the Atmosphere of Your Church With Seating Strategies?


If your congregation felt friendlier and more welcoming, how would your church change?

One of the best methods to alter the ambiance in your church is to alter the small church seating layout plan and have an impact on where people are seated. You might be surprised by how much your members will value the change to more inviting and open seating that enables them to interact with more churchgoers!

The seating in your church can have a significant effect on the atmosphere of your entire congregation. If you are thinking about making any changes to the layout of church chairs, there are some unique strategies to keep in mind.

How to Use Seating Strategies to Change the Atmosphere of Your Church?

Imagine going to an auditorium with many seats and few people spread out at different points. What feeling does that give? Now, compare the feeling to the one you get when many people are in the same auditorium, occupying 70-80% of the seats. There’s no doubt you can tell the difference.

The point is that you can control the church atmosphere using the right seating strategies. For example, the atmosphere is energetic and inviting when there are just 12 people in a church with 15 seats.

But in another scenario, if the church has 60 seats with the same number of people and each person stays apart from another, the church atmosphere may become boring and push people away.

Here are some tips to help you change church and its atmosphere with seating strategies.

Remove Fixed Seating

Creating an atmosphere in church enables worshippers to feel welcomed and relaxed in the sanctuary. To achieve this, you should consider removing fixed seating from your sanctuary.  Most churches use the fixed-seating strategy. However, if you want an energetic atmosphere in your church, you’d have to make a change. Here’s why:

  • A church with fixed seating would look empty without a full congregation. 
  • Worshippers wouldn’t want to sit with people they’re not familiar with. So, they tend to sit separately, maybe at the back roll or on an empty pew. 
  • Active participation creates a greater sense of enthusiasm for worship

This way of seating would make the church look disorganized, and it doesn’t encourage people to form relationships with fellow churchgoers. 

Instead, install movable furniture.


You have many options when you want your church to feel more energetic and have an inviting atmosphere. Most of the time, it is challenging for certain churches to adjust to updated seating because fixed seating in churches is like a rural identity.

However, there are strategies for church growth that change the atmosphere of your church. One of them is installing movable chairs in your sanctuary that can be arranged in various seating formats throughout services.

Here’s the deal. With movable furniture, you can arrange the seats according to the number of worshippers you get for a particular program or church activity. This seating strategy encourages worshippers to sit close to each other and fosters engagement in service compared to the fixed seating format.

Fill in the spaces

If your church auditorium is so big that there is a lot of space, you don’t want to leave it like that. You have the opportunity to make your church’s atmosphere welcoming by not leaving spaces unoccupied. Try a small church seating layout.

Something like a church library or café will not only fill up space but also create an avenue for worshippers to refresh their spiritual lives and connect with other believers. 

You also have the option to create small booths for promoting the church and its activities and welcoming new members with freebies.

Church chairs in various colors

In the 2020 Olympics held in Japan, the large stadium was left empty and fan-less due to the coronavirus pandemic. The stadium seats were multi-colored, making the largely empty stadium feel fuller. You should get multi-colored seats for the same reason – it’ll make the church auditorium feel less empty.  

Front-to-back seating

Unfortunately, front-to-back seating has become a norm in most churches. People would walk into an empty church and sit at the back when there are rows and rows of empty seats in front of them. If someone peeks into the church, it’ll look like the whole church is occupied, which is not often true.

To give your church an inviting atmosphere, you should encourage worshippers to seat in front instead of the back. One way to do that is to set up fewer chairs than are needed. This strategy would give worshippers no option but to sit on the only available chairs up front.  

Concluding remarks

You need to put everything together and make sure that your seating strategy is having an overall impact on your church if you want to create an environment where people can come and feel comfortable and welcome. You should also see a growth in attendance within a very short time from implementing these strategies into your existing seat layout. 

What strategies do you think would be the most effective in giving the church an energetic atmosphere? 


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