Monday, December 12, 2016

Concerts, Guests, and Saved Seats

And now . . . to address the “concert elephant in the room.”

The biggest complaint we get every year is the fact that people come very early in order to find a good seat, but instead find rows and rows and rows of pews roped off in the best sections.  Every year we ask people not to save seats; every year we print this on the tickets; every year our request is ignored; every year the problem gets worse.

Many people have told me that their friends and family will not come to our concerts anymore because they had arrived an hour early but end up sitting in the very back or in the side sections because of saved seats.  What kind of message does that send to our guests?  That Grace Church members are more privileged and important than they?

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another" (Romans 12:10).

Grace Church members and attenders have the opportunity to hear our choir, orchestra and soloists every Sunday of the year.  Shouldn’t they be the ones to sit on the sides and in the back, and let our visitors have the best seats?  When my non-Christian mother was able to attend the concerts, she gladly waited in line like everyone else and chose her seat when she entered.

Frankly, it makes me angry to come in the Worship Center on a concert afternoon and see half the place reserved.  I’d love to hear any ideas on how we can educate our members to sacrificially let our guests have the better seats (short of going around and removing all the masking tape and hymnals, which I’ve been tempted to do).

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3-4).

Sharon (speaking on behalf of myself only)

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