6 Reasons to Sit in a Different Seat at Church This Weekend

I know some readers won’t like this post. Most of us have a habit of sitting in the same place in church 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 in general. We develop all kinds of habits, like parking in the same area, going in the same door, following the same route to our small group room, 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 already know everybody in your church, but sitting among different people will give you opportunity to get to know somebody more deeply. If you don’t know everybody, moving your seat will allow you to know somebody new. 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 preacher 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 sit 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 folks 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 your church moves forward in the future.  
  6. If you completely refuse to change, you might reveal 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.

Let me know your thoughts. I’m okay if you differ with me. . . . 

17 Comments

  • Robin Jordan says:

    I did that this past Sunday. It was not intentional, however. A visitor sat in the spot in the pew where I normally sit when I am not leading the service or preaching the sermon. I was a little disconcerted at first and even exchange glances with one of our regular attenders. Then I thought to myself, this is wrong. The pew is not mine nor is the spot where the visitor was sitting. I went up to the visitor and introduced myself and welcomed her. I sat in the pew right in front of her, a pew in which no one sits because it is the closest pew to the platform.

    I made a mental note of the fact that she had to get up and go out to the lobby for a service. The church is small and doesn’t have any ushers. The service bulletins are left on a small table in the lobby and regular attenders know to take a bulletin from the table before they sit down.I would have given her my bulletin but she had gotten up before I noticed that she had gone out to the lobby for a bulletin.

    One of the things that I noticed when I moved to the front pew was that the acoustics were different. The singing sounded much fuller than it does where I usually sit. The regular attenders tend to sit scattered around the back of the sanctuary. .I am the only regular attender who sits close to the platform. Ideally the congregation should sit not only closer together but also fairly close to the platform. From what I have read sitting in close proximity to their fellow worshipers and to the platform not only improves the quality of the congregation’s singing but also encourages the greater participation of the congregation in its parts of the service.

  • Skip says:

    And you will confuse your pastor. Lol

  • We’re generally there a minute or two before the service starts so we only get the chairs that are left. It forces us (not unwillingly) to mix with others, especially those who are already in their usual seats!

  • Martha says:

    GREAT post. I remember the first time at our church. We chose to sit in the front row because I needed the extra leg space – not because I’m tall but become I need to extend them out due to wearing braces on them. We upset a deacon’s wife because that was her seat. We had no idea and so the next week we sought out the front seats again but in a different area and they were near the end – where people cut through to up up on the stage. So the 3rd week we were back in the original seats… again she didn’t like that. But, it either there or sit outside the chapel for me. I did do that from time to time. Our pastor happen to see me out there – asked why I wasn’t inside – I explained. The next week, he did a sermon similar to this post. It’s been 11 years since we joined our church and the deacon’s wife still doesn’t speak to us. We can sit anywhere now and she is still in her same spot. Blessings to you.

  • Mike Teixeira says:

    One advantage of sitting in the same place is that you get to better know the others around you that sit in their usual seats. Even if you don’t know them name , you know their face.

  • Dan Eubanks says:

    I joined a church that had lost around 500 in attendance over the past 20 years. People were widely scattered around the worship center. I knelt in a seat to visit with someone for a moment before the service started. A lady approached me and told me I could sit there if I wanted but that was her seat. Empty pews all around but that was her seat! She had no plans to change that day. I am only guessing, but I think one reason they had lost so many people over the years is due to the attitude I experienced from this lady. This church folded, not much later. Change seats, it won’t kill you. Not changing might kill your church.

  • Ashamed says:

    So I am guilty of sitting in the same row every week.. it’s my comfort zone and I’ve been teased in a loving way about it. Today a family who are members and know well sat in “my seat” I am ashamed to say it through me off.. I was uncomfortable.. could not concentrate and was confused.. like it was done on purpose. Again not in a mean way .. I kept praying for forgiveness for feeling what I was feeling.. I left very sad and ashamed. Did not tell my husband how I felt but I admit it really bothered me

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