Front Row Seats

How cool is it to get the best seats in the house? Whether it’s a ball game, the theater, or your daughter’s band concert, we always want the best seats available. (Well, almost always. Somehow church is different, it seems. The front row seats are usually open — at no extra charge!)

The coolest and closest experience I have had at a big event was when I was in college. The year was 1987, and Christian rocker Steve Taylor came to my college to put on a concert. And in my 1980s world, it didn’t get much cooler than getting to watch Steve Taylor. Until they asked me to help carry him off stage for his song “Lifeboat.”

That’s right. I got to serve as half of a relocation crew for the man who has sang such classics as “Meltdown at Madame Tussauds” and “Cash Cow.”. At the appointed time, I went onstage in front of the adoring masses (there had to be at least 300 of them!), grabbed Steve by one arm while some guy grabbed the other. We carted him off and put him down behind the curtain. He said something like, “Thanks guys,” and back to work he went. And that was good enough for me.

I know you are jealous, but hey, we can’t all rub shoulders with greatness. Except, we can. In fact, I wouldn’t trade what I do now for a thousand moments with Steve Taylor. For each week, I get to experience moments even more exciting than grabbing a mid-level rock musician’s elbow; I get front row seats to what God is doing in the lives of people.

Some examples:

  • Just today, I got to talk with a couple who has gone through a ton of craziness that would have caused lesser folks to split up. They have both stayed faithful to God and each other, and have grown through it all. And today I got to pray with them as their journey takes a new turn.
  • Two days ago, I visited a young family just hours after they give birth to their new baby girl. The labor only took 32 hours. The dad was really tired.
  • Three days ago I spent time with a young woman has been through all kinds of struggles, including living out of her car for a time. The journey of her life has led her to the place where she is now ready to surrender her life to Jesus.
  • Last week, I visited with a young man whose only religious experience, to this point, has been spending about six months in an alternative faith tradition. He is now exploring faith at Fern Creek.

I love the front row seats God has given me — as I get to experience what He is doing in the lives of others.

So, where are you sitting? In the back row, watching from a distance? In the middle, starting to get a taste of what God is up to? Or maybe you feel like you are on the outside looking in.

Wherever you are, my challenge is the same: grab a seat on the front row — at the place where God is working to change lives — and where He is inviting you to let Him do His best work in you, and through you.

And by the way: Steve Taylor’s star continues to rise. He’s in concert this weekend in London — London, Kentucky, that is. It’s not far from where I live. I wonder if he will need some help off stage….

Author:

I’m Jeff Dye. After 16 years on staff at a healthy, outreach-minded church, I currently have a ministry called The Paraklesis Project. In the New Testament, “paraklesis” means encouragement — which is what I seek to bring to churches of all sizes through speaking and consulting.

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