When it comes to giving advice about buying furniture I doubt I’m at the top of anyone’s list. In fact, I’d be slightly surprised if I was even on the list as my general disinterest in all things furnishing related is quite well-known. I like sitting in comfy chairs and that’s about it.
However, having recently just moved to a new house where we needed to fill it up with furniture from scratch I now feel completely qualified to dish out advice to other church planters. Most important of all is the kitchen; wherever possible buy as big an extending table as possible. In theory, ours sits 10 at full length but you can squeeze at least another four people in. The kitchen is the hub of most people’s homes and it’s where we eat. You never know when some extra people will arrive and being able to quickly extend the welcome and the table makes that much easier. Along with that comes buying chairs that you can stack. We have more than we’d normally need and just have them stacked in a corner. This is also handy when you have unpredictable numbers at any meetings you have.
In the lounge, my wife is thinking about colours and I’m thinking about numbers. Apparently cinema-style seating isn’t conducive to family life so I had to reconsider. Make it easy for people to talk to each other and have enough space so people aren’t sitting on top of each other. Just do the best to balance that in the space that you have. The stackable chairs get well used here. We wondered about sofa beds to make it easier to accommodate guests but they’re such a compromise. Rarely comfortable as either a sofa or a bed. So went for comfy sofas and big air beds. Up in a few minutes and shoved under the stairs the rest of the time. Airbeds are an excellent investment if all the bedrooms are full.
Talking of which bedrooms should just be that but you never know who will be staying. We’ve lived in our new home for nearly four months now, during at least a quarter of which we’ve kicked our two-year-old daughter out of her room (she’s in with us) while we have a couple live with us until they find their own place. So this point is about buying furniture you can move. Fix everything to walls and you’ve way less flexibility to allow others into your home.
So while not everything is missional, setting up your home for hospitality, friendship and having people in it, most definitely is. If you kit out your home so it works for just your family you’ve not been thinking properly about what you’re doing or the importance of your home in doing it. The most important asset any church planter has for years is their home, so make sure it works to help you with your mission. Obviously living in Sweden it did all come from IKEA and if you want to know which colours to buy or materials to use I’d just like to point out I’m not your guy. I don’t have a clue.