LOUISBURG — It’s not your traditional Sunday morning inside The Porch Community Church.
Pastor Curtis Riley said the music, lights, projector and emphasis on active participation can make Sunday services feel more like a rock concert to some. But the focus of the Louisburg church is always on Jesus and following the mission of “seeing lives change,” Riley said.
Every once in a while, in order to accomplish that mission, the church members spend a Sunday not inside the sanctuary at 305 S. Second St. East but instead out in the community, where they can personally show the love of Christ.
“Sometimes we have to skip going to church so we can be the church,” Riley said.
The most recent example took place Jan. 13, following a winter storm that dumped a foot of snow on Miami County. Instead of attending the regular Sunday services at 8:30, 9:45 and 11 a.m., the church members bundled up and grabbed shovels to clear the driveways of nearby homes.
“The goal was to give back to our neighbors,” said Riley, whose father also helped with his snow plow.
Being part of the community is an important aspect of the church, said Riley, who founded the church in 2011 and has watched it steadily grow.
That community focus is what first attracted Louisburg resident Kyle Wright and his family to start attending The Porch. Wright and Riley were actually neighbors, and the more Wright heard about the church, the more he felt called to get involved.
Now, Wright, who also teaches social studies at Louisburg High School, is being announced as the new youth pastor. He is in charge of activities for youths in seventh through 12th grades.
Wright joins a staff that includes children’s pastor Lee Ray, who focuses on the younger children; Curtis’ wife, Erika, who handles music coordination; Jennifer Novak, who works part time as the service coordinator; and Rachel Mercer, who works part time handling the church’s finances.
Riley said church staff and congregation members are important at The Porch because leadership roles are spread out, and the church truly operates as a family. In fact, worship doesn’t just take place inside the church building, it also takes place inside homes of congregation members during Growth Group meetings.
Riley said that’s why the church is called “The Porch.” He likes to think of it as simply a gathering place for church members before they head out into the community to share the love of Christ. He compares it to Jesus gathering his disciples together to meet before sending them out to spread the good news of his word.
“We want to let people know that Jesus will change your life through faith and turning to God,” Riley said.
Social media is another tool the church uses, as they often take on “#1000in1 challenges” with the goal of reaching at least 1,000 people in a weekend.
Riley said one of the goals of the church is to grow its physical presence in the community as well. The plan is to construct an addition to the existing church building and eventually construct a second building at another location.
“We’re praying about adding an additional site,” Riley said.
Regardless of where they are located, Riley said the church members will continue to focus on the basic principles outlined on their vision wall inside the church: “Gather, Grow, Give Back and Go.”
For more information about the church, go online to www.theporch.info.