Thanks to all the great tips and ideas from you all we are currently looking at a wide assortment of possible venues for actionchurch. We’re still looking so keep them coming.
I wanted to address one question that I hear often about the move. It goes something like this. “If we end up moving to a building that is not a nightclub or bar, won’t that change who we are as a church?” It’s a good question. One that I am glad folks are considering. There is no doubt that (for better or worse) environment matters.
From the beginning actionchurch has been set apart as “different”…or “special” because we met at Fat Daddy’s Nightclub and later Club 19. It created a buzz. It gave people something to talk about. It piqued some folks curiosity enough to want to check it out on sunday morning…while it probably caused other folks to stay away. The buzz has been helpful in getting the actionchurch name “known” in our community…but it was NEVER the main focus of why we chose to begin our journey at a nightclub.
actionchurch began in a nightclub because (although it may have seemed odd to others) it was a perfect fit for our particular “flavor” of Sunday morning church. We needed a place where people could gather and hear about Jesus in a non-religious atmosphere. We needed staging, sound, and lighting for our high volume live music. We needed space where kids could run, play, and hear about Jesus in a way that captured their imagination. (We didn’t exactly plan to have a cigarette machine and go-go cages in our first children’s area…but we improvised.) We needed a “relaxed” kind of place that would welcome eating and drinking…hanging out. We needed a place we could invite our many friends who “didn’t like church” but we knew without a doubt would love our Savior if they only had a chance to meet him. And, since we didn’t exactly have a lot of money…we needed a place that would be affordable so that instead of constantly fundraising we could concentrate on our mission.
NONE of those things have changed. (Including the “not having a lot of money” thing.) We are looking for the exact things we were looking for when we came across Fat Daddy’s nightclub now…for exactly the same reasons. If a suitable bar or nightclub presents itself now, or in the future, we will be all over it. If not, we will simply create the same “actionchurch” atmosphere in our new venue, whether it is a grocery store, school,airplane hanger, retail space, or strip club. (I had to throw that last one in there just to give folks something to talk about.)
If you find yourself feeling a little nostalgic about the thought of actionchurch not continuing to be a “church in the bar”, or “church in the nightclub”…if you find yourself thinking that our future might be a little to “normal”…just remember that whatever we do we will NEVER be able to get rid of our “church that started in a bar” label. (Even if we wanted to! ) You can take the church out of the nightclub, but you can’t take the “nightclub” out of the church.
photo: Garrett Snyder