About Front Yard Mission  

The fundamental premise of Front Yard Mission is to simply do the thing that Jesus said mattered the most, living out the two greats: The Great Commandment and the Great Commission. The primary way that God has called us to intersect with the world is through loving our neighbor. Our observation has been that most Christ followers want to love and tell their neighbor about Jesus but they just aren’t sure how.

I’m Jonathan, the Director of Front Yard Mission, and I want to share my personal journey with you. Like many people, I started out feeling unsure about how to reach out to my neighbors. But with a heart full of love and a desire to make a difference, I took the first steps. Through simple acts of kindness, intentional conversations, and genuine care, I’ve witnessed a beautiful transformation in my life and my neighborhood. This journey has shown me the incredible power of living out Jesus’ teachings.

I invite you to join me on this incredible journey. Together, we can build a community of friendship, faith, and transformation, one front yard at a time. Let’s walk this path together, learning, growing, and sharing the love of Jesus with those around us. Your Front Yard Mission starts here – come be a part of our story.

Jonathan Weibel

Jonathan and his wife Suzy live in State College, Pennsylvania and have two grown daughters. Jonathan has been a youth pastor, church planter, worship leader, singer/songwriter and dabbles in stand-up comedy. He and Suzy raise and show Bernese Mountain Dogs and love living in their neighborhood. Jonathan lives by the credo, “If you’re not having fun you aren’t doing it right.”

Steve Lutz

Steve Lutz has served in vocational ministry for over 20 years. He has led in urban and suburban contexts and in both small church plants and large established churches. Steve became a leading national authority on college ministry after publishing two books on the topic of College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture (2011) and King of the Campus (2013), which led to extensive speaking, consulting, and coaching with leaders on four continents. Steve has been a church planter, started several ministries within churches, and generally gravitates to the innovative and entrepreneurial side of ministry. He currently serves as a consultant with Bartel & Bartel, Ltd. and helps lead the Front Yard Mission initiative.

The Front Yard Movement

How it all began: Front Yard Mission was birthed over a couple of decades.

In the late nineties a dozen Central PA pastors started meeting together to consider how we could work together in reaching our region. What we saw in those couple of decades was that prayer was the key and the crucial variable to seeing revival, and also that a large focus of our prayers should be our neighborhoods. The more we consistently prayed and prayer walked, the more we saw neighbors come to Christ. I became a part of that group of pastors in 2010. A couple of years later a book called “The Art of Neighboring” was released, pouring gasoline on my passion for the Great Commandment. Around 2016 Calvary Church in State College started a ministry called Front Yard Mission, the very thing that God had already started birthing in my heart.

2016: My personal Front Yard Mission

In 2016 I personally had to evaluate whether or not I was truly living out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Sure, I had planted three churches, but I had largely ignored the people that lived closest to me. My wife Suzy and I began to ask the question, “What would it look to be intentional about loving our neighbor?”

2018: Dinner in the Driveway.

In 2018 we attempted our first neighborhood get together. We called it “Dinner in the Driveway.” I started to prayer walk weekly with another neighbor and together we planned the event. We handed out some invites and put a sign in the yard the morning of the event. We set up tables and chairs and wondered if any one would show. To our amazement, nearly all the chairs were occupied by eager neighbors. Something happened in my heart that night that became my personal journey into Front Yard Mission.

FYM as a Sunday Service

During the pandemic, we saw the value of Front Yard Mission as it rose up to take the place of what traditionally had been viewed as the most treasured component of the church – Sunday morning services. At a time where people could no longer meet in common spaces, we saw neighboring experience a revival in our city. I made the very difficult decision to jettison from a job I loved as a lead pastor and church planter to go all-in on the Great Commandment.

2020: Steve Lutz and Calvary Church

In 2020 I began to work with Steve Lutz at Calvary in the midst of the pandemic. Steve was on staff at Calvary Church as the director of Front Yard Mission. Together we began writing the book Front Yard Mission, something we had dreamed about doing a couple of years earlier. Steve eventually left to become a consultant for businesses and ministries, and in 2021 I became the director of Front Yard Mission. I learned so much in my three years under the leadership of Calvary’s Lead Pastor, Dan Nold. At the end of 2023, I decided to fully give myself to equipping churches around the country to live out Front Yard Mission.

2024: FYM Book

Our book Front Yard Mission came out in February of 2024, landing at the number one spot in new releases in Evangelism and Adult Ministry for four weeks. 

ONE DAY EVENTS

We have been connecting with and serving several churches in the United States, providing them with consulting and content to help other churches live on mission in their own neighborhoods. This training includes our Front Yard Mission One Day Training, our Digital Master Class, as well as our podcast and FYM tool box.