Ten Reasons to Sit in the Front Row
When it comes to church, our family used to be solid back row dwellers, so much so that if the back row of the sanctuary wasn’t open, we would lurk uncomfortably in the aisle trying to figure out what to do.
“Let’s go out to breakfast instead.”
“Maybe if we stare at them long enough they’ll feel uncomfortable and move somewhere else. There are plenty of seats up front.”
“Kids, stand over there and cough a lot.”
About five years ago we made a decision to move up front so that our kids could better see and follow the service. It actually has a lot going for it. So, here’s my ten reason countdown on why everyone should sit in the front row:
10. First lips on the common cup. Now, I’m not saying how the rest of the congregation feels about us with our six kids getting to the cup first, but I figure we aren’t getting any germs.
9. Access to the altar. My preschool aged daughter can dance out into the aisle and right on up across the stage where she has plenty of room to show off her moves while Daddy chases her back toward our seats with a baby in each arm. This also gives everyone a nice chance to see the striped red snowflake tights that she paired with a hot pink tutu, a rainboot and a tennis shoe.
8. Being near the musicians. Our baby loves to crawl full tilt to the drums, which someone had the foresight to put inside a baby gate. That is what that’s for isn’t it? Now, if we could just get a pen for the piano, too…
7. No one is sleeping. When the pastor is that close, you keep your eyes open through the sermon.
6. The kids get a lot more exercise. No matter how many times I mention that it might be preferable to walk sedately to and from your seats when there is a church service in session, my kids feel the need to make the journey at a run. After trips to the bathroom, children’s church, to get a tissue, and to see if their offering is in their coat pocket, they can check ‘exercise’ off their to do lists when they get home.
5. Easier escapes from the angel choir. Not only can you actually hear the little angels singing from up front, but when one of our little angels decided to squat down and walk back to us mid-chorus, he didn’t have far to travel in that awkward position.
4. Real life nativity. When the large empty manger is set up for advent, and it’s just sitting right there in front of you, what preschooler can resist the urge to run up, climb in and play baby Jesus? And what older brother can stop himself from placing a new little sibling in it?
3. You can sing as loudly as you want. When there is no one in front of you, you can belt out every ill placed note at full volume, especially helpful during renditions of O Holy Night.
2. More exercise for parents, too. Of course, this kind of exercise is not so much physical and more in the area of character building. As you walk all the way up the aisle with a baby leaking yellow goo from his diaper, or a toddler shrieking “I’m ready to be good!! I’m ready to be good!!” everyone else gets to watch the show, giving you a great chance to exercise patience and humility.
1. The kids can see what is happening. They can better follow the service. This leads to great stage-whispered discussions right in the middle of the service, “Hey, mom, I think the pastor just got spit on those people over there! Maybe we should sit further back…”
While I say “up front,” we aren’t actually in the front row. We sit in more like the third or fourth row. There just happens to rarely be anyone in front of us. So, there is plenty of room up here for everyone else. If you do decide to move on up, don’t worry I’ll try to reign in my tendencies toward reason number three.