Here we are again, in the third installment of my “Things You Don’t Learn in Bible College” series. Today, we tackle something I personally dread — stacking chairs.
When in Bible college, I learned a LOT about doing youth ministry. My professors were great about teaching us practical skills. Not only did I learn the Bible, but I learned how to plan an event, how to budget, and how to develop a curriculum. One of the things I did not learn was how to stack chairs. Now, many of you are probably sitting there thinking, “Are you serious? Do you really need to learn how to stack chairs?” Ok, maybe I did not need an entire class about it, but it would have been nice to know that much of my Sunday afternoons would be spent stacking those things in order to clear some space to do an activity.
Our worship area is multi-purpose, as we do not have much space. So, our large group time at Youth Group takes place there. This means we have to move chairs quite often, if we want enough room to play a game. Believe me when I say that there is an art to it. I don’t know about your church’s chairs, or if you even have chairs, but ours stack a specific way. If you don’t start it off right (with the legs right on top of the other chair’s legs), the whole stack will fall over by the time you get to the third or fourth chair. You must also figure out the proper stacking height. For our chairs, I tend to stop at six, but it is possible to go as high as seven, as long as you do not move them around much after you stack them. Then, you have to learn the best place to store them, either in the room or in another room. All this is basically trial and error, unless you have the same style chairs as us. In that case, follow the above procedures.
Then, putting the chairs back is another art-form in itself. Not all of our chairs have pockets in the back, so we have to alternate. If you have ever been around after an event at RCC, helping with chair setup, you will hear something that has become a mantra: “Pocket, no pocket, pocket, no pocket.” You also have to shape the rows properly, in order to fit them all a certain way that gets the maximum amount in the room. Just thinking about it exhausts me.
There are some benefits to chair stacking, though. The first is that when doing it alone, it provides a time for me to get away from my desk and other things that can get overwhelming. I often put in my ear buds and listen to an audiobook or some of my favorite music. Secondly, and most important, you can meet your spouse through stacking chairs. Ok, maybe that is a stretch, but it happened for me. That is exactly what I was doing the first time I met my wife. So, while I don’t really enjoy this thing that has very little direct influence on ministry, it is nice to know there are some great benefits.
Perhaps you learned how to stack chairs in your Bible college, but that is definitely something they left out of our curriculum.
This is the third post of this blog series. The overall purpose is to be both fun and informative about the “practical” side of youth ministry that people often leave out of a standard Bible college curriculum. I’ve got a small list of things to talk about, but I’m still trying to figure out if this should be merely an fun rant-style or if I should actually “teach” what I am talking about. So… What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.