Where Do You Sit?

red chair in auditorium of blue chairsThis year our church has adopted the theme of Living Life Together.  We have already been talking about dozens of ways to make this theme a reality, and many men and women are taking positive steps of growth.  However, sometimes a lot of ideas translate into little or no action.  It becomes information overload.  Like the cynical sage once quipped, “when it is all said and done, there’s often more said than done.”  Here are a few simple steps that you can take this Sunday at whatever church the Lord has called you to attend to make Living Life Together a reality.

Stamp Out Loneliness One Act of Love at a Time

We live in a lonely, impersonal world.  Most of us can’t even remember the day when you drove into a gas station and had an attendant bound up to the car and pump your gas, make small talk, and ask to check your oil.  Now we pull in–by ourselves, pump our gas–by ourselves, put our credit card in the slot and pay–by ourselves, and drive off without talking to a soul.  I guess that’s OK for gassing up our cars, but it doesn’t cut it in the Lord’s house.  The words “being alone” and “being in church” should never go together.

Driving Over

Take a few minutes to pray and ask God to give you a sensitivity to people.  Tell Him that you want to be His channel of love, mercy, and acceptance to others who attend church that morning.  If you have others in the car, pray about this issue out loud together.  If you have small children, walk them through the process step by step and encourage them to be friendly to every person in their Sunday School class.

Walking into the Building

Be on the lookout for someone who may be new.  Put a big smile on that face of yours.  Greet others warmly and express authentic interest in who they are and what brings them to church today.  Offer to show them around the building and serve them any way you can.

Sitting Down

Please do not just plop down in the place that is most comfortable or with the people who are most familiar.  Open your eyes–look for someone who might be sitting by themselves.  Go sit by them–introduce yourself–thank them for coming.  Let’s set a goal together that no one will ever attend our church and leave with the same feeling they had when they last put gas in their car.

What do you think?

Do you agree that the words “being alone” and “being in church” should never go together?  Why is this such an important issue?  What would it be like for a person with no church home who is hurt, confused, or discouraged to finally attempt to visit a church and never be greeted or welcomed in any way?  What lessons have you learned in this area?  If/when you visited church, were you made to feel welcome?  If you are a parent, how are you teaching hospitality to your children?  What best practices have you used or observed that you would be willing to pass on?

Sunday is coming. Where are you going to sit?

Steve Viars
Dr. Viars has served as a pastor and counselor at Faith since 1987. He is an author, national speaker, and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Biblical Counseling Coalition.