CHURCH DEVELOPMENT From The Front Porch To The Patio
By Roger K. Swanson
Director of Operation Evangelization
Do you remember when every home had a front porch? In the evening, after dinner, the family would sit outside and visit with neighbors. No invitation was required. People just dropped in on one another.
Today most of the front porches have disappeared. A few steps and a landing lead to the front door. There is no room to sit and visit. The front porch has been added onto the back of the house in the form of a deck or a patio. Neighbors have no access to the back of the house. There is usually a fence or a hedge to block the view. Is it any wonder that we dont know our neighbors?
Congregations need front porches; that is, places and opportunities for our neighbors to drop in and get to know us.
One possibility is to bring our neighbors in to a Boy or Girl Scout Troop sponsored by the church; another would be to allow organizations such as AA, AIDS and cancer support groups, and divorce recovery groups to hold meetings on church property. The possibilities are endless. What about opening the church parking lot for skateboarding and biking for neighborhood kids or sponsoring a flu shot clinic each fall? You might check with the city clerk to see if your church could become a polling place and then provide coffee, juice and cookies outside the polling room on election days.
How many unchurched people come into your building during an average week? The more opportunities we provide the wider our front porch.
of this page