At the Sutherlin Campus of Family Church, our main auditorium has an elevated balcony behind the main floor filled with stadium style seating. This has always been my favorite place to sit during a weekend service. It might be because its comfortable – I have always sat here, and I know a lot of the people that sit up there. Even when it’s a different group of people around me, I am still comforted by this familiar place with the same perspective of the stage, the same route to the nearest bathroom, and the same springy seats that require just the right finesse to exit during a service and not cause a scene. Bottom line – I like sitting in the Balcony at the Sutherlin Campus, it feels like home. Seriously, if you need to get me something feel free to drop it off there, it could count as my second address, 3rd row from the front on the southside.

Now there is one thing I like even more about these seats beyond their hominess, it’s the perspective of the people. From here you can see most of the people in the auditorium at once. More times than I can count, I have been overwhelmed during a message by the people who have come to a service to know more. I see families, individuals, couples, groups of friends from all different stages of life gathering to hear more about God. They came of their own volition. They came here to be a part of a worship service; to sit for an hour and 10 minutes – 30 minutes of which a spoken message about the things of God is heard. That is a big deal in our world today. There is so much to entertain the mind, so much to pull people’s attention to, and so little cultural push to seek God, but still, people come.

They come because every human soul is lacking without a connection to God. Without relationship with Him, there is an unquenchable void that knows other material thing or altruistic purpose can feel. No matter how far from God our world becomes,  every man and women will feel this thirst. Some will ignore and suppress it, but others are seeking to understand it. There are even many people who know the truth of the Gospel and have accepted the gift of forgiveness and life through Him, but don’t know how to grow. They desire the wholeness that life in Christ offers, but are like newborn babies without the knowledge or ability to know how.

That is why, as much as I love it there, I have to leave the balcony seats often. I have left them to join people who are looking for that next step at a meeting we call Starting Point, where I have met many incredible people that God is moving to be closer to Him. I have left the balcony to support our first multi-site campus in Green where some of the most amazing brothers and sisters in Christ have joined us in what God is doing. People that may have never been connected and blossomed alongside Gods work if Family Church leadership would have ignored Gods invitation to join Him where He was already working. I have left the balcony to be encouraged and supported by others through Life Groups and relationships that have helped me grow as the woman God created me to be.

I will leave the balcony again to help prepare and launch our next location in whatever way God has equipped me too and I cannot wait to meet the people that will come. There are stories being weaved right now, by the hand of God, that we will see blossom when we catch up to him and open the doors of the next Family Church Campus. As comfortable and perspective wielding as my beloved balcony seats are, I definitely want to have a front row seat for that.


Crystal Cunningham-Blog