The traditional understanding of church is changing in today’s virtual culture. As rates of church attendance continue to decline, faith leaders are seeking new and innovative ways to reach people who aren’t willing or able to come to a church building.
One of those innovative avenues is “Church Anywhere,” a project of First Capital Christian Church in Harrison County, Indiana. This unique church model situates in places like prison, rehab centers, and public schools. The idea is to make church more accessible and less daunting for those who may be unlikely to attend in a traditional building.
The church has partnered with a variety of facilities to plant micro-campuses in vulnerable spaces, both geographically and demographically. A few of the campuses have even reverted to living room spaces in the homes of leaders.
Each of the campuses operates on a similar schedule of worship songs, sermon, and small group discussion, with a heavy focus on the discussion portion, which facilitates community support and vulnerability.
The neat thing about planting churches is they often automatically multiply, which “Church Anywhere” has already seen in a prison where they operate:
At Branchville, a former gang member has expressed his desire to start his own Church Anywhere service. So First Capital is preparing to launch a second service in Branchville run by the inmate. That service will be held once per month in addition to the weekly services led by the First Capital volunteers.
Volunteers within the “Church Anywhere” system often see a need and take initiative themselves as well. If a vulnerable population isn’t being served by church, they can propose opening another micro-campus.
Whether it’s a disabled community that can’t physically get to church, or a rehab center where people aren’t likely to attend on their own, “Church Anywhere” is thinking outside the box and reaching people in effective ways. With rates of depression and suicide at all-time highs in the United States, these efforts to reach individuals who may be suffering are truly life-saving.