Practically every public building has an entranceway. It is called a lobby in a theater or hotel. It is called a vestibule or foyer in a church building. The word foyer comes from the Latin word focus which meant "hearth." The hearth in ancient times was the general meeting place. Many can still remember the country stores with the pot bellied stove where people gathered to talk or visit. Some of these places still exist.
The foyer plays an important role in church buildings. In most foyers you will find bulletin boards, tract racks, tables, materials for distribution, telephones, food barrels, coat racks, and water fountains. All of these are found in the foyer because almost everyone will pass through it to get to the classrooms or the auditorium.
Many beneficial things take place in a church building foyer. First, it is a good place for visitors to be greeted upon entering and leaving. This makes them feel welcome. Second, it is a good place for fellow Christians to visit before and after the worship services. Third, in this central location the bulletin, magazines, tracts, and announcements can be displayed and will likely be seen. Fourth, it is a good place for the preacher to greet all those who attend the worship service.
There is, however, the tendency on the part of some to misuse the foyer. Can the Lord be pleased when brethren stay out in the foyer and talk about anything and everything instead of attending a Bible class? Is the Lord pleased when latecomers stay in the foyer instead of going to a class? Why is it that people will arrive at a ballgame well in advance, but cannot come just a little earlier to be in class on time? Could it be an attitude problem (John 14:15; Matthew 6:33)? Do we think God is pleased when we remain in the foyer talking for fifteen to twenty-five minutes after the beginning of worship services? Would it do any good to point out to such individuals the poor example set for visitors who arrive late, or young children who must leave class or worship while these individuals are visiting? We might as well be in our living rooms as in the foyer when classes and worship are going on. We are still forsaking the assemblies.
Let's use the foyer to encourage and use the Bible class rooms and the auditorium to learn and worship (John 4:23-24). - adapted from John M. Grubb