Chair“Do you think we should not use chairs today? I’ve seen children’s ministry in churches where they didn’t have chairs and the kids had room to move around and sing.”

This was a question I posed to a children’s ministry volunteer a number of years ago. I wanted to switch things up and try something different. This wise woman, who had been doing children’s ministry for a while, shared some profound wisdom to me that I had not yet learned:

“Think of a chair as a boundary or a container. If you take that away from a child, they don’t have a natural inclination to stay in one place.”

Woah! I had never considered a chair to be a boundary. But in the many years since Miss Naomi’s wise comment, I have learned, through experience, that chairs can be an important tool in containing the energy of children. It’s like giving a child their own 2-foot by 2-foot space that is theirs to both manage and be responsible for.

Sure there are times when I don’t use chairs, but it’s strategic. It’s because I intentional want a different environmental feel and outcome. But I’ll never forget how important a chair can be in containing a child’s behavior, and I will always remember Miss Naomi’s profound advice!