On Stools

I like a stool when I speak. I almost always want a stool. I like to have the option to sit and to occasionally get on my feet to walk around. Honestly, I think the only time I don’t want a stool is when the crowd is over 500 or so. And since I rarely speak in front of crowds that big, I usually use a stool.

I don’t know why. It feels more humble to me, more unassuming. More like a chat, and less like a lecture. Maybe it’s a security blanket for me, an anchor. Some people hide behind the pulpit, I am held up by a stool.

I haven’t made much of a study of stools. I tend to like one that allows movement, like The Stool That Spins at Solomon’s Porch. And I need a footrest. A stool without a footrest is worthless.

So, leave it to the Scandinavians to build my perfect stool. I used it only on my first day here, when I was speaking at a Pentecostal church in Copenhagen. It looked like something you might find in IKEA. It had a footrest, at just the right height. But, most importantly, it cradled me, held me securely.

I loved that stool, and I miss it.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps it’s time to coin a new word for you — the “stoolpit.” Too bad it sounds a bit like latrine trench…

  • Virgil Vaduva

    Cool! I feel exactly the same when I speak in front of people. A stool gives me comfort and helps me feel like I am holding onto something when I interact with people. Good to know I am not the only weird guy thinking that way! :)

  • Anonymous

    Sweet,In some cultures (like Middle Eastern) if you tell your host you like something in their house they will give it to you.Perhaps you can take this bad boy back to Minnesota.

  • Noah Braymen

    Tony…I can see where you’re coming from, but I had an experience in college that completely changed my view of sitting in front of a group of people.I’m a jazz guitarist…Matt Wilson [http://www.mattwilsonjazz.com/] slammed me with a pretty big critique. I was playing while sitting on a stool. He and his quartet didn’t have a lot of advice regarding my playing, but they said I’d be more expressive if I stood. They said they knew people [jazz musicians] who couldn’t stand…so those of us that can should enjoy standing and the expressiveness that comes with standing. Therefore, I have to say I don’t sit on stools in front groups…because I feel standing is a gift from God and it’s more expressive and dynamic. Until I can no longer stand I’m going to stand. That rebuke actually helped my playing quite a bit.Just a thought:)In ChristNoah

  • Rob B.

    It cradeled me? It held me securely?This has got to be the geekiest post I’ve read all week. Tony, you rock.

  • courtney

    Tony–Thank you for your stool sample.

  • Robert Lancaster

    I like that stool a lot. I was thinking last night when I was leading a discussion for a new church group how cool it would be to have a stool. Maybe it’s something Ikea does have and I can get one.

  • Joel

    tony, I met you at a YS event. I just finished reading PostModern YM (thanks for it) and I’m doing a project and wanted to know if you could point me to some good scholarly resources that might explore some negative elements of megachurches. if you have time, thanks. here’s my email. jtbusby@gmail.com

  • Craig

    Great thoughts.A few months before Kyle Lake passed away, he began getting up from the stool and walking around a bit more. We had a great conversation about it in which he shared some of the exact same things you have here. He told me that his becoming more mobile was akin to some old pastor choosing to inch his way out of the pulpit. Kyle talked about the nervousness associated with getting up from the stool.So, all that to say, he would have gotten a kick out of reading this post.

  • B-U-R-L-Y

    In my opinion, probably one of the top-ten greatest songs about stools comes from “Waiting for Guffman.” I think it’s called “Stool Boom.” I’ve never posted, but stools are near and dear to my heart.

  • dsm

    Tony, I love speaking from a stool and have just been looking for a new one to use that looks good. I ran across this site and thought you could find a great stool like the one you used.www.zuomod.com

  • Jeff

    I just picked up a couple of really cool counter stools for, where I sit the majority of the time, at the kitchen counter!


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