Back-Row Baptists

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, Jun 4, 2012.

?

Why do people sit in the back?

Poll closed Jul 4, 2012.
  1. Preacher has bad breath

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Don't want anyone looking at them

    11 vote(s)
    47.8%
  3. They want to see everyone and what's going on

    12 vote(s)
    52.2%
  4. The want to make a run for the door as soon as it's over

    11 vote(s)
    47.8%
  5. Closer to the bathroom

    7 vote(s)
    30.4%
  6. They're just shy - don't want to be noticed

    9 vote(s)
    39.1%
  7. some other reason

    9 vote(s)
    39.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    In summary, why do so many people love the back row?

    In a small meeting, people will congregate at the back...and even in the back corner - and others as close to the exit door as possible.

    Has there ever been a study on this? Why do people sit where they sit - and why do so many prefer to be as far away as possible?

    When I suggested last night "there are only a few here, how about we all move forward a few rows," I was greeted with open hostility. I sure didn't get it, but I'm trying to.

    Insight, anyone?
     
  2. DiamondLady

    DiamondLady
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    I wouldn't know....I like to sit in the front, as close as possible. I don't want to miss anything!
     
  3. TadQueasy

    TadQueasy
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    Not sure why this is, just part of human nature I guess.
    I was in a prayer meeting one time and a little older lady sat in the far back and kept asking the pastor to repeat every request because she could not hear. He politely asked if she would move up to the front so she could hear better and she was offended.
     
  4. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    The same thing happens at our church. The back two pews are always taken first, then the older people complain they can't hear. The back pews are also by the air conditioning vents and the people complain about "freezing" during the services. I tell them to come sit with me up by the piano, because its warmer, but so far no one will.

    People just like to whine.

    My biggest pet peeve is that half the church comes late for every service. The funny part is that the latecomers can't get the back rows and have to move closer to the front.
     
  5. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Pastors, I'm afraid it's a losing battle. After my beloved father-in-law retired from the pastorate, he sits on the back row.

    Last Sunday night, 90% of the people there were on the last three rows of our auditorium. Lot's of open space in front of them.

    However, because the design of auditorium, the back row is only 50 feet from the pulpit. So it's no big deal for us.
     
  6. exscentric

    exscentric
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    I'm 72 years old and know where I want to sit, I don't need others making up my mind for me for goodness sake.

    Why make everyone move when you - 1 person - could move much easier????????
     
  7. TadQueasy

    TadQueasy
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    Don't complain when you cannot hear, that is all I ask.
     
  8. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Yes, but why the back row? (if it applies):smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Didn't say I was hard of hearing :)
     
  10. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Did you not read my first line? :) That is where I want!

    Went to a little church once and everyone had their favorite place to sit - mostly habit. Never visitors so no big deal.

    One day we were all seated waiting for the preacher and a young lady walked in and said "Oh, I see everyone is in their little seats." in a rather snooty tone of voice. She walked to the back and across to HER little seat :)

    Maybe another question, why is it that pastors/teachers feel the need to rearrange people that have selected their seats. :)

    Maybe you need to create a "FIRST CLASS" area in the front.
     
    #10 exscentric, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2012
  11. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I was blessed with a wonderful, loud, booming baritone voice. I sit in the back so my voice fillls the church when we sing.
     
  12. matt wade

    matt wade
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    Our church is full, so all our pews are filled.
     
  13. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    What a blessing to any pastor -
     
  14. matt wade

    matt wade
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    Our Pastor is a blessing to us, that's one of the reasons our pews are filled. :)
     
  15. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    I wonder what would happen if you set up a pulpit in the back of the auditorium? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  16. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    It would be fun to try - but I likely won't do it! Instead, from time to time, I might make a few trips halfway down the aisle while I speak.
     
  17. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    I prefer the back because:

    1.) I am very tall/large (I'm a bit over 6'05" and built like a linebacker) and people have a hard time seeing around me.
    2.) I like to see the whole room, not just up front. That's a personal idiosyncrasy, since I hate to sit with my back to the door in public places. Additionally, I used to be a bodyguard, so it is a habit to be aware of everything that is going on in a room.
    3.) If I need to leave for some reason, I don't want to be a distraction.

    What I actually do:

    1.) I sit within the first 10 rows on the extreme edge so that I won't block the view of people behind me.
    2.) I want to set an example for the youth of our church to sit toward the front.
    3.) I carry a concealed handgun and I sit in a place where I can take cover and react quickly to threats in the event something like that happens. (FYI, reacting quickly to threats does not mean I just starting firing my weapon like some people assume. Essentially, it gives me the opportunity to quickly assess the threat(s) and move quickly to close the gap and neutralize the threat with the minimum level of force needed.)

    What I have done when I was a pastor or preaching in a church with most of the congregation sitting a long way from the pulpit:

    1.) Comment on the "great gulf between us" in a good-humored way and build rapport with those who may be sitting a long way off because they don't want to be involved.
    2.) If I have wireless capabilities, leave the pulpit and make generous use of the aisles to keep the congregation engaged. I go into the pulpit with minimal notes since by the time I stand up to preach, I have essentially memorized the scriptural passage through study and only need a few items on a piece of paper as a crutch in case I somehow lose my train of thought. I will have my Bible in hand, along with a half-sheet of paper (the notes) tucked into the open page, so I can engage people very directly if necessary.
    3.) I DON'T get passive-aggressive about it, but genuinely let people see that I love them and that I am merely working to communicate effectively with them.
     
  18. Salty

    Salty
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    You know the drill, if you want a good back seat, you have to get there early! :smilewinkgrin: :saint:
     
  19. McWilliams

    McWilliams
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    Some come in late and sit in back to avoid the offensive music!
     
  20. USN2Pulpit

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    Hey, Baptist Believer, I really appreciate your input here, especially this part. I will admit to struggling with this. As pastor when this happens, I feel a little isolated from the fellowship because I'm the only one at the front and everyone is at the back - so I struggle with how I feel about being alone in more ways than just this.

    Mountain out of a mole-hill? I know, I know - and I repent.
     

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