Our church building does not have fixed pews. They were removed in 1991, as part of the reordering process. There are several advantages of not having chairs, flexibility being one. We have all sorts of events in our building, including ceilidhs. There are some disadvantages as well. For starters, the chairs rarely get put back in the same place twice, no matter how good the paper plan is. There are always chairs behind the pillars, where people can't see a thing (though this might be a good thing, depending on who is up front), the aisle is crooked, and the rows uneven.
More importantly, I've discovered that it can make the senior pastor develop an obsessive/compulsive disorder involving chairs. Symptoms include; endless 'tweaking' of seat positions; the preacher developing a nervous tic as s/he realises that the aisle is not straight; the worship leader walking up and down the aisle in order to make eye contact with the one person stuck behind the pillar.
I thought this only happened to me until a few weeks ago when I made a throw away comment about all of this to a group of leaders from a southside church with a P and a Q in its name, and they all laughed and pointed at their own pastor. I discovered that I am not alone in my obsession! And he is one of my role models and has been a minister for a lot longer. What if this disorder is contagious?
I'm thinking about starting a self help group for the similarly afflicted. Please do contact me, or leave a comment, if you need help too.
(I must add that I was first recruited into Christian leadership because of my willingness to stack chairs at the end of meetings. Look out, if you find yourself doing this - you don't know what it could lead to!)