Jump directly to the Content

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 ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
THE FAIR-TO-MIDDLING PREACHER
THE FAIR-TO-MIDDLING PREACHER
Ordinary preachers may never dazzle, but most can learn to be pretty good.
From the Magazine
What Comes After the Ex-Gay Movement? The Same Thing That Came Before.
What Comes After the Ex-Gay Movement? The Same Thing That Came Before.
Grace takes more forms than heterosexuality, as old-school evangelical leaders once knew.
Editor's Pick
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
As a seminary professor, I’m requiring the physical book in class. Church should do the same.
close