Jump directly to the Content


I hadn't been inside a church for three years. I'd seen no sanctuary, no cross on the wall behind the pulpit, no pews, no stained glass, no engraved communion table. For three years at Heritage Church in Aurora, Colorado, I led worship inside a box-well, actually an elementary school gymnasium.

Instead of ornate banners declaring truth about God, the walls of the "sanctuary" were lined with sports posters and exercise equipment. Four regulation basketball hoops hung above us, and volleyball poles congregated in a corner-symbols of a competing American religion. The orange, all-purpose carpet had enough out-of-bounds lines to play most any sport. The mercury-activated lights hummed as loud as a swarm of bees.

Yet my fate wasn't unusual. Box churches are popping up all over-in gymnasiums, recreation centers, and storefronts. Heritage Church was in a building program, hoping one day to trade our box for a sanctuary. In the meantime, we had to face an important issue: Could we effectively worship ...

From Issue:Winter 1990: Context & Culture
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

What's the Big Idea?
What's the Big Idea?
Cultivating ideas and thinking deeply can be spiritual acts of love.
From the Magazine
Bhutanese Nepali Refugees Turn Their Trials into Zeal for Evangelism
Bhutanese Nepali Refugees Turn Their Trials into Zeal for Evangelism
Thousands found Jesus while displaced, which prepared them to plant churches and settle in a new land.
Editor's Pick
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Learning to walk under the weight of ministry's many hats.