I was at a dinner theater recently. We had “good seats”. At least that’s what we were told. What that really meant is that we were in a crowded room, with lots of people I didn’t know, eating, watching a play, while it seemed like every was looking through us (really at us) to see the play.
On the floor.
In the center of attention.
For the introvert in me…that “best seat in the house” quickly became the worst seat in the house.
That’s a silly illustration, perhaps, but it’s a good reminder for church leaders.
I remember several years ago, while meeting in a school theater, having a discussion about closing off the loge (balcony) section to force people into the center section of the auditorium. There was one big section apart from the loge. I struggled with that. I was with the people who resisted that change. It made sense to create more energy in the center of the room, but in the process, for some people, wired like me, we were making the “best seat in the house” the worst seat in the house.
That principle is true in other areas of ministry. When we plan activities and programs, even the welcome portion of our service, we have to remember that everyone is not wired like us. For some people, it is the best way to do something. For others, it is the worst. When we force people out of their comfort zone, simply to create what we think is better for others, we may be making things worse.
The best approach here is to always ask other people, people not wired like you, to sit at the table of discussion and invite them to speak into the process. And, value their voice.
Sometimes the best seat in the house…isn’t.
Am I alone? Is the “best seat in the house” sometimes the worst seat for you?