Used Church Furniture: Pulpits and Lecterns

Save Your Church Money Blog

Does your church need a new pulpit or perhaps a lectern?

If so, should your church purchase new or work to locate an used pulpit or used lectern?  After all, there is no shortage of used church furniture available.  Many churches are updating and remodeling their worship spaces and in doing so, new church furniture for those spaces is acquired, and the church furnishings that previously occupied those spaces become available for a “new home”.  Should your church pursue one of these potential deals for your new church pulpit or lectern need?  Let’s consider some of the reasons why you should consider used church furniture and some of the reasons you should not.

  • Price:  Almost always, the attractiveness of purchasing “used” carries with it the belief that dollars are going to be saved by the purchaser.  And often that is indeed the reality.  However, we have also been surprised at the prices many churches expect to receive for their used furnishings.  In some cases, we been able to counsel churches toward a “new” purchase for around the same total dollars that the used purchase was going to cost them.
    Bottom Line:  Make sure you compare the total cost of the used items versus the cost of new items from a ministry like Church Furniture Partner.  You may be surprised to learn you can purchase a new pulpit or lectern for less than you thought!
  • Shipping:  If you work with trucking in any way in our country, you understand that shipping prices seem to be going up and up.  In addition, churches are ill-equipped to adequately pack and crate the used items if shipping is needed to transport the church furnishings to their new home.  Manufacturers on the other hand do so regularly and have all the materials and equipment needed to safely package and protect your purchase.  And the manufacturer often has shipping discounts that will save you dollars versus paying to ship used church furnishings such as lecterns and pulpits.
    Bottom Line:  Unless the used pulpit / used lectern is close enough for you to pick up, be prepared for shipping issues to complicate the purchase.
  • Warranty:  In most cases, used lecterns/pulpits are going to be sold “as is” and carry NO warranty.  This is to be expected of course, but there is something about warranties that provide a peace of mind regarding the purchase.   With new church furnishings, there will be warranties of various lengths, but there will ALWAYS be warranties.
    Bottom Line:  You will need to be totally comfortable that your used church furniture purchase carries no warranty.
  • Aesthetics:  Any piece of used church furniture is going to to appear “used” to one degree or another.  There may be nicks or even gouges to be concerned about.  The wood on a used pulpit/lectern may be weathered in places from spills or environmental issues.  You could spend considerable time and expense trying to make the item look “new” but those efforts will be limited.
    Bottom Line:  Be sure to factor in any and all restoration costs that will be associated with your used church furniture purchase.
  • Fit:  When you are purchasing new you have the opportunity to choose from a wide assortment of styles and finishes and sizes that will best fit with your current environment and decor.  But when you purchase used, all of those choices are no longer ready for you to make but are already settled.  Yes you can perhaps change the look of the pulpit/lectern to some degree, but that adds effort and cost to your purchase.
    Bottom Line:  Once again, be sure you are comfortable with how the purchased item will complement what is already in place in your environment.

There is one final note for you to consider.  Please know that a ministry like Church Furniture Partner can bridge the gap between the cost of that new item versus the savings on the used pulpit or used lectern.  We encourage you to investigate a new purchase with CFP so you can accurately consider the bottom line of what your savings will be for used church furniture.  Please contact Church Furniture Partner for more information.