This week I am spending time sitting in all of the seats in our sanctuary and praying for whoever will be sitting in that seat during our Revival/Renewal services that begin soon. I often walk up and down the rows and pray for people during the week. But I felt led to sit in each seat and spend some time praying. I have never done that before, at least not for every seat.
As I have been sitting in the seats and praying I have been struck by how many empty seats we have on any given Sunday. I see the empty seats when I am preaching, but sitting in them and realizing how many of them rarely have anyone sitting in them is really getting to me. It is increasing my burden and encouraging me that we can reach many more people.
I have sat and prayed in half of the seats at this point. There have been a few times already in I was overcome with a burden for whoever is going to sit in that spot. In some of the cases I could picture the person because there is someone who usually sits in that seat. After all, many people sit in the exact same place each Sunday. (You know who you are.) There have also been some moments of burden while praying in a seat that doesn’t have a regular resident. I am anxious to see who sits there and what God has in store.
I believe I will look at these seats differently from now on. I am confident this will not be the last time I do this prayer exercise. I can sense a growing burden to see the seats filled with people. Not just for the attendance but for the impact on people’s lives. Another part of my learning this week has been what each seat could represent. There is just one person who sits in that seat during any given service. But that person represents more than one. All of us have multiple people in our sphere of influence. This week I am getting a picture of the growing reach we can have in our community. Not just from those who attend a given service but in the witness they can have in their world.
I am looking at the empty seats this week and feeling a renewed call to my community. I am seeing the empty seats and expanding my dream for our church. I have a growing burden for the empty seats in my church.
What do you see when you look at the empty seats around you?