Things Left in the PewsChurch members are prone to leave things behind in the pews. We've even known of some folks who drove away from the meeting house before discovering that they left one of their toddlers sleeping in the pew. Anyone taking a turn at cleaning the church building is in for an eye-opening experience. It is amazing to see the things that get left in the pews. For example:
- Trash. Candy and gum wrappers, scraps of paper, Kleenexes, and other rubbish frequently get carelessly strewn in the seats. Some of this is accidental, but the volume of trash left in some pews is extraordinary. Everyone could easily help with this by simply 'policing' their area before leaving.
- Personal items. Blankets, sweaters, foot stools, children's books and toys, and other such things are common in the pews. We understand the need for some of this, but we'd encourage some organizing and tidiness to make a better appearance and impression — especially on visitors.
While these things are normal, and can easily be tolerated, there are some other things that represent a more significant issue:
- Bibles. If you leave your Bible in the pew, it suggests that you don't really use it on a regular daily basis. That's a problem that needs to be fixed immediately. Take your Bible home. Read it every day.
- Class materials. Our children's teachers work hard to make the Bible classes the best they can be. They almost always have teaching aids and handouts to send home with the kids. Too often these are carelessly left behind. Please, parents, pay special attention to these things. Gather them up. Take them home. Review the subjects with your children. And, of course, the older kids and adults need to take their books home and study, too! If you leave your class materials in the pew, it's pretty obvious that you are not making any effort to come to class prepared.
- God's truth. The most serious of all things that get left behind in the pews is the truth. Too many walk away from Bible classes and sermons without any serious consideration that the things that have been taught need to be put into practice in their daily lives. They are effectively unchanged by the exposure to the essential truths of His Word.
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." (James 1:22-25, ESV)
Before you leave the pew, make sure that you haven't left anything behind. Think!