I can see and hear everything - 11%
Makes me feel less connected to the service - 22%
Great location for tossing Jr. Mints at people below - 55%
I feel closer to heaven - 11%
I'm afraid of falling over the edge - 22%
Less distractions, more privacy - 11%
Traditionally, balconies in churches don't provide the "great extra seating" that you might think. People that sit up there tend to be a little more spectator-oriented, and less participant-oriented. They tend to feel disconnected. If they want to come forward for prayer or anything like that, they have to go down the stairs, into the foyer, and back in through the sanctuary doors. Lots of distractions along the way - you've gotta be pretty focused to not forget what you were "going to the front" for.
Some churches solve this by having the stairs to the balcony go from within the sanctuary, and instead of steps TO the balcony, each "step" is a different level of seating, kind of like stadium seating. So you're much more a part of the sanctuary.
I'm no architect, but I'm pretty sure that just couldn't be done in the new location we are looking at.
So I had an idea. I wonder if we could send part of our Worship Team up there? Maybe a bongo player? Or a singer? Or a couple of flaggers? Would that help with connecting the balcony with what's happening? Maybe. I dunno.
I had another idea, about the pews. Pews are essentially long benches with fancy ends on them. What if we shortened them down to a love-seat or individual seat length, and reattached the fancy end? So now there's just room for one or two people to sit down. And we move those seats out of the sanctuary, and place them strategically in a hallway, or a corner of a room, or something like that. Just a place to sit down if you need it.
AND attached to that shorty pew in some way would be one of the stories of the congregation that was there for 94 years. So you can sit in a piece of history, and read about part of the history while you're there!
(Oh, I am amazed at my own brilliance. What a wonderful idea! Just kidding - I'm in a weird mood! LOL)
BTW, a.s. also had a creative-use-for-the-pews idea, and perhaps they would like to share it with you. a.s.?? are you out there??