Last Sunday at my church home, Southport Christian Church in Indianapolis, we launched what is becoming an August tradition, the Front Porch Worship Series. The series started last year and grew up out of an off-hand remark made during a worship service. The senior minister had just completed the children’s message, and as the children were leaving, I did a thumbpick version of Jesus Loves Me.

When he got to the pulpit, he looked over at me and remarked, “With you in the service, sometimes I feel like I’m on A Prairie Home Companion.” After the service, we looked at one another and wondered aloud what worship would be like in that format. The idea that became the Front Porch Worship Series was born.

For the month of August, worship takes on a very casual yet very meaningful style. We build a set on the chancel, put together readers’ theater, sing old hymns and hear the gospel proclaimed in story. This year we added the State Fair Gospel Quartet (the group singing in the video) to provide a capella singing during communion.

It’s a unique worship experience. For some, it takes a bit of adjustment. For others, it’s a refreshing change of pace. Hopefully, everyone sees it as a reflection of the gifts present in the congregation that enable us to give praise to God and to share the Good News.