A Challenge

LeValley & Berlin Center News

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8(NIV)

I know some readers won’t like this post. I have a question for you. This pertains more to LeValley than Berlin Center because of numbers, but it’s something each of us should consider. Do you know every person in the church who attends regularly? Can you name him or her?

Most of us have a habit of sitting in church in the same place on Sunday, and I realize that nobody else is calling for changing this pattern. Nevertheless, I press on with my reasons that you and I should sit in a different place at church this weekend.

1. Most of us get too comfortable at church on Sunday in general. We develop all kinds of habits, like parking in the same spot, following the same route to the sanctuary, sitting in the same place, and often going to the same restaurants after the service. Nothing changes—including, frankly, the depth of our walk with God. We also don’t expect God to do anything different when we gather, and we then get what we expected.

2. You’ll get to know different people. You might think you already know everybody in your church, but you may be surprised. We have had several new people worshiping with us over the last year or two. If you don’t know everybody, moving your seat will allow you to meet someone new. Also, sitting among different people may give you the opportunity to get to know an acquaintance more deeply. You’ll appreciate better the Body of Christ.

3. You’ll see and hear the service differently. It’s strange, actually, how changing your seat alters your perspective on the service. You look at the pastor from a different vantage point. You hear the music and the singing differently. You notice things about the building you had never seen before. You’ll often even listen to the sermon differently, simply because everything feels new (and, if you think I’m nuts here, at least try it…).

4. Somebody else might need your current seat. For example, too many people end up sitting in church toward the back of a worship center, thus forcing latecomers and guests to walk to the front. That’s not the most loving or wise way to welcome these people to the service. Why don’t you sit toward the front this week and free up space for others?

5. You’ll learn to be more comfortable with change in general. Here’s my crazy suggestion: Sit in a different place every week. Don’t let yourself get stagnant in your approach to church, beginning with the simple decision of where you sit. Change your place each week, and you’ll likely be more open to change as our church moves forward in the future.

6. If you completely refuse to change, are you revealing a negative side of your heart? I understand there are reasons to sit in a particular place (e.g., for access to hearing devices, seating for handicapped, etc.), but most of us have little reason not to change—except for stubbornness. If that’s your reason for not even considering this suggestion, you may need to check your heart.

Since I’m not sure how many of you will accept my suggestion to adjust where you sit, I think I am going to re-institute passing the peace (greeting those around us) one Sunday a month. That way, none of us should have the excuse of saying we don’t know someone.

Holy hugs all around! All the churches of Christ send their warmest greetings! Romans 16:16(The Message)



Pastor Nancy