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Hospitality A Place for Everyone
January 3, 2024

A Place for Everyone

I grew up in a family that went to church every single week, no matter what holiday landed on the weekend. We would arrive early to mingle in the hallways and grab hot coffee and fresh donuts on the way in. I can distinctly remember shaking hands with friends and church members who felt like family, all the way until we made it to ‘our seat.’ Growing up, our church had long wooden pews covered in a dark blue fabric to match the carpet. Every Sunday, my grandfather would walk into the sanctuary, place his Bible in ‘our seat,’ and quickly find a place to serve or find a new face to welcome. It was known and understood by those who attended our church that the six of us would sit in that exact pew each and every Sunday. It was “our seat.” Humans are creatures of habit, and when given a choice, more often than not, we stick to what is known and familiar. For our family, it was a place of comfort because we knew that we would have a place to sit and a place to belong.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. I help serve each and every week with the musical portion of our worship services. More often than not, while the pastor delivers his opening illustration and final sermon points, the worship team scurries backstage, unplugging instruments and moving equipment, all part of the behind-the-scenes efforts to create the best atmosphere for the congregation. Every week my wife sits in the same seat with an extra chair on the end for me to easily slip in during the early moments of the sermon and slip out to close the service as we respond. After the opening worship set concluded, I rounded the corner to the main double doors and saw a couple with a child in their arms walk in front of me. They looked around the room, and it seemed like there were no two seats together. I tapped the mother on her shoulder, mouthed “come with me,” and they followed. My wife and I gave up ‘our seats’ so that someone else could sit comfortably and enjoy the Christmas Eve Sunday morning service. The couple’s faces lit up as they settled into ‘our seats,’ and we quickly found a new place to sit by a welcoming family that squeezed in to make room for us.

Loving Jesus and Loving People

A lot of times, following Jesus is very similar to giving up “your seat.” Jesus calls us to be uncomfortable (Matthew 16:24). He calls us to be sacrificial (1 John 3:16). He calls us to put others’ needs before our own (Philippians 2:3-5). The flesh in all of us would say, “You should arrive earlier” or “Try again next week,” but it’s the love and grace of God that enable us to extend compassion and care to everyone we meet. As we begin the new year, I’m challenging myself to find and seek opportunities to “give up my seat.” Sometimes those opportunities come on Sunday, and other times they arise in the grocery store or at the gas station. With all that we’ve seen God do in and through our church, I’m praying that we would continue to have a mindset that puts loving Jesus and loving people at the center of everything we do. Sometimes the smallest temporary gesture can make the biggest eternal impact.

Living Our Faith: Practical Applications

Take a moment to pray and ask God that He would give you the opportunity this week to ‘give up your seat.’

  • Ask God to allow you to see people through the same lens that He sees them.
  • Pray that more people in our community would feel comfortable and feel like they belong when they step into Trinity Baptist Church.
  • Prayerfully consider how you can serve our church during this year so that others may experience the Love and Good News of Jesus.
Written by JD Broussard

JD is a worship leader and creative with a desire to see people connect with God. Born and raised in the Lake Area, JD grew up with deep roots in the local church and came to know the Lord at a young age. He quickly found his calling in full time ministry after serving at his local church and serving with IMB and NAMB missionaries on short term mission trips. JD is married to his wife Jenny and they enjoy the outdoors, being on the water, road trips, and any chance for adventure.

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