As I reflected on this pastor’s statement, a couple of thoughts came to my mind. One is that his statement was a very personal one that indicated a preference that was important to him and was a value I needed to honor. An additional thought though was about what actually makes a chair a ”church chair”. Here is an expansion on those thoughts with three observations as to what really is needed for a chair to be labeled a ”church chair”.
Perhaps the greatest advantage to purchasing an armless office chair over a chair with arms is the price discount you will receive. Armless chairs will always be less in price over a chair with arms because the cost for adding a set of arms to a chair always results in an increase in price. Equipping your office with armless chairs over chairs with arms is a viable choice for those on a budget as it will end up saving you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Chair arms are one of the first parts to break on an office chair because of the repeated pressure that is applied to them throughout the chair’s lifetime. If your chair is even still under warranty when the part breaks, it can be quite time-consuming to request replacement parts; sometimes the process of receiving a new part can take up to a few weeks from the time the request is placed with the manufacturer. If your chair is not under warranty, then a new chair will need to be purchased adding to the cost which could have been saved had you purchased an armless office chair.
This new phenomenon was covered extensively and very contentiously, in the following day’s daily New York City newspapers. And the man on the hot seat was the president of the Park Commission – one George C. Clausen. It seemed that a few days earlier, Clausen had been visited in his official Park Commission office by a man named Oscar F. Spate. Spate seemed amiable enough, and he offered Clausen a proposition Clausen saw no difficulty in accepting. It seemed that Spate said he wanted to place comfortable rocking chairs in the parks throughout New York City. And for the privilege of doing so, Spate offered the city the tidy sum of $500 a year.
Often times while you are working you may find your chair’s armrests get in the way. Whether you are sitting down in your chair or standing up to take a break, arm rests always tend to get in the way. If your workstation is ergonomically set up to have a keyboard tray installed underneath your desk, having a chair with armrests can be even more troublesome in trying to find a way to fit them beneath both your desk and your keyboard tray. Having armrests on a chair will also defeat the ergonomic benefits of using a keyboard tray because it will make you type in an unnatural position leading to strain on your wrists. Sliding into an armless chair is effortless, and getting in and out of your chair will no longer seem like a chore. Reaching for things near or on your desk will also be much simpler without arms being in the way.
A church chair is then finally a chair that works for your church in the worship space it is placed in. For example, there are churches that because of a limited amount of square footage in their worship area desire to squeeze as many chairs as possible into that area. It may be that a worship chair a bit narrower than the standard 20” wide chair is the one that works for them. Another church that may be holding their worship service in a room that also serves as a space for other purposes throughout the week has a need to stack their chairs at least once each week. It may be that a worship chair that is lighter in weight, handles easier and stores compactly is the chair that works for them. And yet another church needs chairs that will work both in auditorium style seating in rows and around tables. It may be that a ”hybrid” chair is the chair that needs to be purchased. Please know the reality once again is this has little with the appearance of your church chair. Instead it simply has to do with what chair can serve multiple purposes for your church.