On Sunday mornings, if you want to know where to find me, you can find me in the front row of my local church. To some of you that are new friends in my life, this news is no surprise, but to anyone who has known me for some time this is a new ‘fun fact’.
Let me explain.
I have spent a lot of my life in the back.
I have spent a lot of my life hiding.
I have spent a lot of my life just blending in.
The only people behind me on Sundays were usually the Sound Tech guys, and if there was a way to hide behind them I would have done that too. I am incapable of sitting still when I hear music, and I spent too much time worrying what others would think if they saw me singing, dancing, and lifting my hands on a Sunday morning.
I liked the back.
I liked the privacy.
I liked not standing out in the crowd.
I would say I was in the back for comfort, but I started realizing that my word for comfort could be described by defining FEAR. I had excuses to help me mask vulnerability and they made Sundays so much more relaxing.
But Sunday’s aren’t meant for masks.
Sunday’s are meant for expressing love.
Sunday’s are meant for learning about the merciful love of God.
Sunday’s are meant for outpouring that love onto one another.
Sunday’s are meant for shouting out our ‘Hallelujiah’s” and “Amen’s” to the Father in union with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
And Sunday’s are meant for rallying us to bring that good news Gospel into the rest of the week.
That’s what Sunday’s are for…but I was trying to do all that from the back, in a curled-up ball, in the corner of the room, and as close to the bathroom as you could get.
But not lately. Something has changed. For 5 months I have been up front. I have been up front where I am seen, and where hiding is no longer an option, and where I am learning to stop letting FEAR drive my everyday decisions.
If you see me in the back, or in the middle, I am still ok with it from time to time. But never again will I go to the back because I am HIDING. Never again will I go in the far corner because I am ASHAMED that someone will see me. If I choose to be in the back, it will be for a time of reverence, a moment of peace, or to pray over my friends on their knees – but never again will it be to HIDE or because I am ASHAMED.
Friends, today I am in the front. Not because I have always been there and because I am comfortable up there, but because I have experienced the breakthrough of moving up ONE ROW CLOSER on Sunday. It is my tangible way of practicing vulnerability and it allows me to break through fear and realize that Sunday’s aren’t for hiding.
Can I encourage you? Can you take the ONE ROW CHALLENGE this week and experience your own breakthrough this Sunday? I know you’re thinking about going to church this week, what about moving up ONE ROW when you get there? See what happens. You might just experience a chain breaking that you didn’t realize was there.
Here’s what I am going to do this Sunday:
I am going to worship with reckless abandon.
I am going to lift my hands higher than my stature can stretch.
I am going to dance because I can’t keep still.
I am going to sing like everyone in the room is sitting at heaven’s gate with me.
And I am going to sit up front like I have experienced breakthrough and revival in my life, because I have! (Can I get an AMEN!?!)
Take the ONE ROW CHALLENGE this Sunday at your local church. Get out of that “assigned seat” that everyone is used to you in. Get out of your comfort zone and move and sing like you would at a red light when your favorite song comes on the radio. Sunday’s aren’t meant for hiding.
I can’t wait to hear what happens!! #onerowcloserchallenge
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