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Tags: architecture, consumer culture, missional, pews, producer, worship
For the first 1,300-plus years of the church there was no seating in churches (except for stone benches along the back wall for the elderly or infirm). The Protestant Reformation saw to it that the sermon would now be the primary focus of Christian worship and, well, folks are gonna need to sit for that kind of thing. So starting in the sixteenth century and really revving up in the seventeenth and eighteenth we saw fixed pews become a norm in Christian churches.
This is an excerpt from an essay in Renew 52: 50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation from Leaders under 50. Download the e-book for free.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, an ELCA mission church in Denver, Colorado. She's a leading voice in the emerging church movement and her writing can be found in The Christian Century and Jim Wallis' God's Politics blog. She is author of Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television (Seabury, 2008) and the Sarcastic Lutheran blog. She is currently working on a theological memoir (Hachette, 2013).
Brought to you by Luther Seminary's Vibrant Congregations Project, with funding by the Lilly Foundation.