Like many churches it seems like half of the congregants sit in the back of the church. Recently we had a weekend involving learning how to be more intimate with God and each other which gave me an idea of how to start doing it on a regular basis. With Lent getting ready to start this year I prepared my suggestion and then presented it on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
When it was time for announcements I stood up and faced everyone from my pew towards the front and said that I had a suggestion for us to try during Lent. In the sermon the week before it had been mentioned that Lent should be more than giving up something but doing something that was out of one’s comfort zone while doing something for the good. I suggested that everyone should move up one row for Lent! I said that we would all be a little bit closer to God (by getting closer to the altar where we take communion we would be taking our daily lives to the intersection of eternity by receiving communion), also closer to our pastor and finally closer to each other.
Someone commented that we should move up one more row each week, which I had thought of suggesting. I smiled and stated that I had considered that bold proposal but thought that we should start with a “baby step”.
I saw a lot of smiles at such a crazy idea being proposed as I sat down. My wife patted my knee and said “Good job”. The organist was grinning from ear to ear as she had mentioned a similar idea a little while ago while I was formulating my plan but I had not shared my idea with her.
This Sunday when I arrived I was very pleasantly surprised to see a few people had moved up a row. I needed to check on something with the pastor who was in the vesting room and when I returned to the church more people had arrived and some of them had also moved up a row.
The organist had a big smile on her face all during the service. Because I had to leave right after communion to get to a golf team practice my wife let me know that a couple of people talked about not even realizing that they had moved up a row because they just naturally sat behind the people they always sit behind, however those people were up a row so they were, too! The pastor’s wife said that she was very impressed how I had done it so cheerfully that it was so well received.
Now, will it repeat?