Doing Church at the Metro Stops

Not having a building doesn't stop this creative and growing congregation in D.C.

You don't expect a church to meet in a nightclub in Washington D.C., a coffeehouse on Capitol Hill, and the movie theater complex at Union Station. But that's what National Community Church does.

"We're practicing orthodox Christianity in some unorthodox places," says lead pastor Mark Batterson.

It began in 1996 when the church plant was told that the public school in which they'd been meeting was being closed for fire code violations. Within a few weeks, the flock of fewer than 50 arranged to meet in the theaters at Union Station. It wasn't Plan A, but it did have advantages.

"Union Station is the most visited destination in the nation's capitol," Batterson says. "We've got our own subway stop, bus stop, train stop and parking garage. We've got forty food court restaurants right outside our meeting site. The theaters give us multiple meeting rooms with comfortable seats and screens" (which, he says, function as "modern-day stained glass, similar to how medieval churches used pictures to ...

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