Front row seat

I love having a front row seat.  I once had a front row seat to see Third Day in concert.  AWESOME!  One of the greatest moments of my life came when my wife and I sat 3 rows from the dug out at a St. Louis Cardinal game.  You’re up close and personal with the artist on the front row.  When you sit close to the action at a baseball game you feel like you are almost a part of it.  Seeing everything in perfect clarity from the front is a wonderful thing. . . . most of the time.  If you are going to be that close to the action you have to keep you head up and pay attention.  Foul balls can come off of a bat in a hurry.  That foul ball combined with your proximity to the game could mean injury or death for you.

Pastors have front row seats for the events that happen in the lives of their congregations.  This can be a very sad part of the ministry.  Most people never understand the burden that living on the front row of church members lives places on the pastor.  It is a view of life that most people will never see or understand.  Pastors get to be on the front row to see the unraveling of marriages.  Pastors get to be on the front row of the addict’s life as he looses his children and wife.  Pastors are on the front row to watch as teenagers make horrible mistakes that affect their entire lives.  Pastors are on the front row in the hospital as a wife looses her husband.  Pastors see from the front, what our welfare state has done to the character and integrity of people.  Pastors are on the front row as the young woman recounts how having an abortion has left her with nothing but guilt and shame.  Pastors are on the front row when one church member tears the church apart over hatred of another church member.  The front row has consequences.

Conversely, the pastor also gets to see some pretty cool things from the front row.  We sometimes get to see the healing of marriages.  We sometimes get to see the addict repent and go on to lead a productive life.  We sometimes get to see those teenagers make godly decisions that impact other teenagers positively.  We are there, cheering from the front row, when a Christian leaves this world for his reward.   We are on the front row when a woman, who has made a poor decision, decides to give the baby growing inside her a chance through adoption.  Pastors cheer from the front as a kid, who grew up in the welfare system, graduates college.  Pastors are there, rejoicing, when feuding church members reconcile and revival is the result.

Take the good, the bad, and the ugly and I would rather duck a few foul balls from the front than never see the game from the back.  Give me the front row!

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Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 3:15 pm  Comments (3)  

3 Comments

  1. Absolutely love it. It’s so true. And it’s not just the Pastor either — it’s his family too. The way you act/react from the front row is how they will learn to act/react throughout life. And sometimes it is good, bad, and ugly. But definitely a good place to see life from — the front row (maybe even the third pew, Gospel side).

  2. Tonya,

    You have spoken like at true preacher’s kid.

  3. Thank you for always being on the front row. You and your family are a very IIMPORTANT and ESSENTIAL part of our little community.

    XXOOXX

    Helen


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