“A Plea for Parishes with Porches”

The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon published an essay yesterday that asks congregations to try to maximize the possibilities for seekers to connect with them. He uses the metaphor of porches to describe what he calling us to do:

“To do better, churches need to provide porches. Although disappearing in many American homes recently, porches play a vital function. They are an intermediate ground in which people who live in the house come out of the house and can be seen, and indeed talked to, by passers by on the sidewalk.

It is a big risk to go into someone’s house, but not to talk to them on their porch. Indeed, most people when invited will go onto a porch and speak with people who ask them to come.

Such a safe intermediate ground is exactly what parishes need to provide. What will it look like? One example is the Alpha course, used in many Anglican parishes worldwide. It involves a meal, it has small group discussion after a presentation, and it seeks in its format to bend over backwards to allow people who do not consider themselves as Christians to partake.”

Kendall goes on to list other sorts of ways that he sees happening around the Diocese of South Carolina such as Agnostics Anonymous and Questions from the Heart.

Read the full article here.

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