Some family gatherings have a tradition of leaving an empty seat at the table to remember the loved ones who have died, gone missing, or been alienated. The empty chair is more than just a chair. It’s a reminder that tells us something.
Your church probably has some empty pews and chairs on Sunday morning, too. What can they tell us?
1. Some empty spaces belong to the saints who came before us and have since gone to be with the Lord. Remember to give thanks for their ministry and how it continues to bless the community today.
2. Some spaces remind us of friends who can no longer attend the meeting for health reasons. Remember to visit them and find ways to keep them connected to the community.
3. Some chairs would have been filled by people who feel too scared to attend. Maybe they were mistreated by Christians, or society has taught them to stay away from churches. Remember that a good reputation goes a long way (cf. Matt 5:16).
4. Some chairs are empty due to members who have left because of some hurt or unresolved conflict. If there was an offense, remember to reach for reconciliation. If there was necessary division, remember to grieve the loss of that member.
5. Some empty pews would be filled by seekers who don’t know that your church exists, and all they need is an invitation. Remember to actively seek out the seekers and plan to welcome them when they come.
The empty pew is a reminder to get off your seat and seek the lost.
Send your questions or comments to Shawn.