Traffic Control for Church Pews

Which of these church seating situations sounds familiar?

  • Clumps of people in various spots around the sanctuary, with many empty seats between
  • People having to move after they’ve been seated in order to make room for latecomers
  • Full back rows and empty front rows making the preacher feel distant
  • Crowds in the aisles coming in and going out
  • Crowds at one door before and after church while the other doors are left unused
  • Latecomers having to walk past full pews to the front
  • Musicians and soloists edging past other people in pews
  • Families unable to sit together if they’re not in the sanctuary early

Sometimes you need new pews but sometimes you have enough space, and you just need crowd control. Most of the time in most churches, people will arrive and take their places naturally, and they’ll be able to leave safely if not quickly after the service. Sometimes, though, church growth, changes in the service or congregation, or the simple development of bad habits can interfere with the process.

Here are some tools that can help:

  • Pew ropes: if your congregation doesn’t object, rope off the back pews and have ushers move the ropes as the sanctuary fills. This will get the church filled from front to back, making it easier for the people who arrive later.
  • Pew reservation signs: reserve pews for families, or for worship and music teams, those assisting with communion, etc. Well-designed signs can be clear without seeming unwelcoming.
  • Announcements: use an announcement board, or make an announcement from the pulpit asking members to sit in the front or to move to the center of the pews and leave space for newcomers.

Of course, if it’s not just traffic control that’s needed, but also more places to sit, contact us for a free quote.