Imagine a Sunday where, instead of going to church, the church comes to you! Reed Galin shows us how a unique outreach concept has one crowded congregation on the move.
(Locator: Batavia, Illinois; Aurora, Illinois)
Batavia United Methodist – an hour west of Chicago – is bursting at the seams. Its landlocked historic building has little parking and little chance of expanding. So, to solve its space problem, this growing congregation thought outside the box by using a church inside a box!
One church in two locations, thanks to a portable house of worship named “Flowing Grace.”
Jeffry Bross/Pastor, Flowing Grace: “It’s our effort to reach out to the community. We want to be part of the community and to reach people in a new and exciting way.”
Its enthusiastic pastor is like a modern-day circuit rider. But instead of arriving on horseback, he uses horsepower to bring a trailer carrying custom-made containers storing everything from hymnals, to sound equipment, to a coffeemaker.
In just minutes, volunteers convert a nearby school into a temporary church setting.
Hasana Sisco/Member, Batavia United Methodist Church: “I saw young people doing things that they’d never done before.”
Joanne Mendicino/Flowing Grace Volunteer & Member: “To me, it's just as much of a church community as going to that building that's been up and functioning for years."
Weekly attendance at “Flowing Grace” already tops 100. Members call it a blessing in a box.
Jeffry Bross/Pastor, Flowing Grace: “Some people ask, ‘When will you know if you’re successful, when will you know you’re right? Will it be 100 people, 200 people?’ I say, ‘No, when the community is impacted.”
Batavia’s “church in a box” cost about 85,000 dollars. It came from a Troy, Michigan-based company called “Portable Church Industries.” The company’s Web site boasts dozens of churches as customers.
You can contact Batavia United Methodist Church at 630-879-7060.
Also, see: 'Church in a box' concept expands ministry