Desperately Seeking Lodgers

A short story about church evangelism

“We need more lodgers,” said Maria Silversmith to her husband Milo one evening. Ten years back, they had bought their large rambling house to accommodate six children as well as two elderly relatives. With only the two younger children now left at home, the house seemed achingly empty, even with the presence of Tim their lodger, who had become like one of the family. “Let’s make a webpage, then people looking for lodgings can easily find us,” suggested Milo.

Their family home was an ideal place for lodgers. They were easy-going and welcoming people. Maria was a caring woman who could be motherly to student-age lodgers or a wise friend to anyone nearer her own age. Milo liked the extra company and was a gracious host, while Alisha and Dwayne (10 and 14) already treated (or boisterously mistreated) Tim as an older brother. Indeed, Tim’s stay with them had been a healing time for him in many ways. Of course, like in any family, there were grumpy times but these usually evaporated quickly.

“Let’s sit down after dinner and list what to put on the webpage,” announced Milo the next day. There were so many things they might have said. How Milo loved fishing and motorbikes. That Maria was a music teacher and played in a band. The way Alisha and Dwayne played a mean game of basketball. Even how Tim their lodger had found healing and acceptance in the Silversmith household.

But somehow, despite their gifts and interests, the Silversmiths found it hard to communicate when not face-to-face. So their webpage ended up looking rather like this:

And that was it. The Silversmiths could never understand why “the website didn’t work”.
info symbolThis 328-word short story can be freely reproduced in print media, with attribution to It is, of course, intended to illustrate the importance of church websites being personal and people-based: a shop-window into a real family rather than a building with meetings.

You may change the names of the family members to typical names for your own country – a UK version is available in PDF and Word. Please include at least one of the church website links below in any print reproduction. The photo can be used in print with this story: credit:craigP/ We also have other free articles available.

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