“You mind your business and I’ll mind mine.” That is the motto of many and I, for one, like it! The Bible teaches us not to be busy-bodies. At the same time, we need to remember that what we do has an impact on others for good or bad. One of the reasons that God has us to come together in an assembly is to provoke one another to “love and good works” and to exhort those around us (Hebrews 10:24-25).
What you do in the church pew matters to the preacher. He shouldn’t assume that you are sleeping just because your eyes are always closed, or that you don’t care just because you don’t bring your Bible, or that you are not paying attention just because you play with the baby in front of you during the sermon. However, those who look at him and nod in agreement or disagreement with obvious interest, turn the pages of their Bibles and especially say “Amen” every now and then are much more encouraging! One preacher said it was like saying “sic ’em to a bulldog!” You can be a Eutychus when the preacher goes till midnight.
What you do in the church pew matters to your family. Mommies and daddies do good when they bring their children to Bible class and to worship. They do even better when they show them by example how to behave in worship. Over the years, an obvious pattern has manifested itself. Parents who don’t bring their Bibles and participate have children that don’t bring their Bibles and participate. Parents who don’t sing have children who just sit in the pew and don’t sing. Dads and moms who are distracted and disengaged from the worship have children who must constantly be entertained or disciplined. For those families, the pew is a boring bench that must be endured for an hour. Paul told us to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
What you do in the church pew matters to everyone else in the audience. You take a section of the audience that has many individuals who are timid about singing and place in their midst an individual or family that makes a joyful noise and just watch what happens! Zeal for the worship of God is contagious! Which assembly is more edifying; twenty souls with everyone participating to their fullest or one hundred souls with half just taking up space in the pew?
Most importantly, what I do in the church pew matters to God. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23).
Trenton church of Christ