Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Open Home Policy

The pastoral assistant (do they really need to use such offices and titles?)at my church and his wife have an open home policy in their house. This means that they are ready to welcome visitors at any time to their home without notice.

Having an open home policy is a really beautiful way for a Christian family to make their house available for the service of the Lord. They are using their home for evangelism, for fellowship with other believers and for ministering to the lonely. This really is a commendable ministry.

Obviously, a family with an open home policy will need to set clear boundaries for their visitors. One boundary I would very much recommend is to request that visitors remove their shoes. While this might not seem like the hosts are rolling out a red carpet for visitors, visitors must remember that the family with the open home are granting access to their house to far more people than an average family. They naturally want this to make the minimal inconvenience to their lives. What is more they can show far more hospitality if they are not cleaning up all the time. A shoe-free home will also be a more welcoming place for small childen who prefer to make use of the floor, rather than the furniture.


Anonymous said...

Of course they can make themselves sound even more welcoming by telling the visitors to feel at home by removing their shoes. That way they can make it sound like something for their guests' comfort rather than a request for their own convenience.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Quite so.

They could say something like:

"We all take our shoes off."

"You are welcome to take your shoes off."

"You are allowed to remove your shoes."

Or would you say something else?

"Feel free to take your shoes off" is OK, but it makes it seem just a little too optional to be really honest.

God Bless


Anonymous said...

You are welcome to take your shoes off."

"You are allowed to remove your shoes."

Wouldn't you say that those phrases are too optional too?

Maybe something like "Make yourself at home, take off your shoes" would make it sound as thought it's for the benefit of the guest's comfort while at the same time not making it sound too "optional"

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Make yourself at home, take off your shoes"

That is a good suggestion.