Back Row Pew Experience

I laughed a little as I sat on the second to back row with an unexpected friend who came to church on Sunday. I overheard an older woman behind me say to her husband; in what she thought was a hushed whisper: “Is the preacher wearing a vest? Is that a vest he’s wearing?” I resisted the urge to turn around and join in the conversation about the preacher’s clothes. Ha! I just thought that was pretty funny. Anyways, it just struck me funny and reminded me of the visibility of our family.

The other sort of funny thing I noticed sitting that far back was watching a few wives give the dig claw to their snoozing husbands. I watched the long painted fingernails dig hard into hubby’s arm and every time like clock work the man’s head would pop up.

It’s almost like a different church service in the back 1/4 of the church….like a whole back row culture or something. But if you’ve been sitting back there for your entire life you probably don’t think anything about it. As a back row newbie I found it a bit entertaining and semi distracting.

The other not so funny thing was that Sophie, our four year old, was sitting with me and my friend. She was having a hard time going to Sunday School and Children’s Church for some reason…..crying, pouting, pitching a preacher’s kid fit, etc. So I sat her down and told her that if she didn’t go to children’s church she would sit with me in big church but she would not color, draw, lay all over the pew and play around.

She did great for the first ten minutes. But then she wanted to lay in my lap and I wouldn’t let her so she got all pouty. We are a good ole’ Baptist church that does a five minute hand shake time and if Sophie ever loved this time it was now. The sweet little sucker thing asked me if she could go shake hands with a lady across the aisle. I thought that was rather friendly of Sophie since she had been all whiney britches just seconds earlier and so I smiled like a good back row preacher’s wife and sent her along saying, “come back when you’re done”.

Little did I know this was her first attempt at being an ecclesiastical escape artist. I shook a few hands around me and then started singing the next song that the worship team was leading us in. It was about the second verse that I realized Sophie was not with me. I looked over to where the lady was that she was going to shake hands with and sure enough she was over there. It was the other side of the church. The woman was mouthing to me, “Can she sit with us?”  And while I didn’t mind, I knew Sophie had just totally manipulated me.

I didn’t much feel like crawling over the people I was sitting in the middle of and I couldn’t really have a conversation over three aisles so I just gave her the affirmative and watched Sophie grin with complete mischievous glee. I would deal with it after church….after the people around me cleared out which might be a while. But I was wrong. As soon as my long winded preacher hubs prayed and said the words “Amen” the back rowers vanished. Gone. If I wasn’t certain of my salvation I’d swear the rapture had taken place and I was left behind. Full on regret of not reading the famous Lahaye series would forever haunt me. But indeed the rapture had not taken place. So I made a b-line for Sophie and when I got to her a church member was oohing and awing over how cute she was. They had entertained her through the entire Sunday morning service…..let her play with their hair, offered up every pen, pencil and marker in their purse, turn their bulletin into drawing paper, gave the last piece of gum, etc.

Oh, she had a big ole time back there on the opposite side of the church, on the back row….in the ghetto. (That was a total joke, ya’ll. So don’t be yelling at me if you’re a back row lover. ) I know you can worship Jesus just as much back there as in the front. But for ADD-ers like myself, I have to sit closer otherwise peripheral things like fingernail dig claws and conversations about the preacher’s clothes would distract me. Anyways, those were just a few funnies from sitting in the back of church.


  1. […] – you know, the one you assigned yourself 54 years ago.  I’m a big believer in moving around for your church seat. It seems crazy but you actually can get to know people just by sitting next to them if you attempt […]