I started out thinking about how I have expectations for certain places. If I go to a grocery store, I expect there to be food for me to buy. If I go to a library, I expect to see books that I can borrow. When my expectations are met, things go smoothly. If my expectations are not met (the grocery store doesn’t have food and the library doesn’t have books), I would probably try to find someone in charge to ask for an explanation of what is going on. But what about church? What kind of expectations do people have for a church? For people who do not normally go to church, what would they expect if they went?
So that led me to my main idea – an open church. I think it would be pretty awesome if churches were open 24/7 and every person who walked in was greeted and welcomed. There would be no agenda and no programs to follow nor schedules. There might be an eating area that has some snacks, water, tea and coffee (donated, of course). As well as some resource people who can help others who are looking for services in the community (affordable child care, help with money issues, relationship counseling), not that these people could do all these things but they can help point people in the right direction and make sure they find what they are looking for (this would be done through relationships that the open church has with various organizations and groups in the area). There could also be a quiet area for people who are just trying to study or read or pray or need to get away from the loudness of the world for a while. And maybe another area for people to talk and listen, some people might come to the open church and just need someone to listen. Of course, there would also be some rules that everyone would need to follow – be kind, no violence, no bullying or intimidating, no soliciting, etc. It would be a welcoming, loving place where people can go at any time for help with anything they are facing knowing they’ll find someone who will care.