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The Open House finds a home

The Open House finds a home
The Open House finds a home
Tim Johnson, lead pastor at Pfrimmer's Chapel United Methodist Church, shares a story about his hometown neighborhood with Sunday evening's attendees of The Open House. Photos by J.C. Lyell

The Open House is a new ‘non-traditionally traditional’ church in Corydon that had its first worship service Easter Sunday. Located at 324 E. Walnut St., the church provides free dinners on Sundays at 5 followed by worship services at 5:45.
Pastor Tyler Best said the church’s mission is to build a vibrant Christian community through love, relationship and revival.
‘We’re non-traditional in the sense that the time together is very laid back and chill,’ he said. ‘You can find people inside and outside hanging out and enjoying conversation as they enjoy their meal.’
That same relaxed atmosphere carries over into The Open House’s worship services too, Best said.
‘There’s no pressure, and many people come and go as they please,’ he said.
As for tradition, Best said the church’s setup follows a Biblical precedent.
‘We’re traditional in the sense that when Christians worshiped in the first century, they met in homes, so ‘house church’ is not a new, novel idea,’ he said.
Best said the church is all about getting back to the simple roots of growing together by sharing a prepared meal and worshiping.
The Open House’s idea for a laid-back worship atmosphere started in 2014. It formed during a young adult ministry at Pfrimmer’s Chapel United Methodist Church, where Best is now a campus pastor. He said a team of about 12 members from that group began praying for and dreaming of a public community worship service.
In October 2016, the group started hosting community events in downtown Corydon at KentJava Bar. The next year, they added a weekly free meal and worship service at the nearby Harrison County Discovery Center.
Then, in November, The Open House found its current, more permanent home.
‘Since we’ve started, the response from the community has been encouraging,’ Best said. ‘We have forged many new relationships through our community events, and this continues today.’
In addition to the Sunday evening services, The Open House will continue to partner with KentJava for Open Mic Night on the second Saturday of each month and Trivia Night on the fourth Saturday, both at 6:15.
Community Movie Night, in partnership with KentJava Bar, at Bicentennial Park will return this year. At this time, they’re planned for the second Friday of June, July and August at 9. More information about specific movies can be found on The Open House’s Facebook in the coming weeks.
‘We’re truly excited to be called to Corydon,’ Best said. ‘Because we live, work and play here in Corydon, we also feel called to pour into our community and we’re constantly seeking new ways to do just that.’
He said he’s been working with this ministry for 2-1/2 years now, and he’s continually surprised and excited by each new adventure.
‘To move from a coffee house to an actual house and to adopt the ‘house church’ way of doing things isn’t something we expected, to be honest,’ he said, ‘but we all feel like this is exactly where we’re called.’
Though it hasn’t always gone quite as planned, Best said growth has been a recurring theme for the church.
‘As we continue to expand and grow, we envision a church, not a building, but a people, who are living like a true family inside and outside of house church,’ he said.
Looking to the future, Best said The Open House’s leadership team plans to launch additional house churches throughout the community when they outgrow the first. He said he envisions all of them gathering together for a worship service quarterly.
‘We are praying about the possibility of launching a new house church within the next year on a different night of the week,’ Best said.
The church’s worship services on Sunday evenings typically consists of live worship music, a message and an opportunity for prayer. A children’s ministry for ages 3 years to third grade also is provided.
The Open House’s leadership team consists of Best, Callie Olson, Taylor Johnson, Colleen Johnson, Vince Cecil, Kaleb Weaver and Tiffany Weaver, and they receive coaching from Tim Johnson, pastor at Pfrimmer’s Chapel UMC.