Coffee Recon

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Being a guy interested in church planting, if I’m near a church I’ve heard about, I have to visit and see what they’re up to. We had the chance to visit National Community Church’s service at Union Station and their coffee house this weekend. I’m a huge fan of NCC’s coffee shop/meeting space/office space approach in D.C., so I was excited to see what Ebenezers actually looks like. Great feel. Great location. For those who are interested, I’ve posted a few quick pictures of the coffee shop here. (Only got to see the main floor. Offices were closed on Sunday and a group was meeting downstairs)

It was an off week for Capitol Hill, so the church only had one service at Union Station and attendance seemed low, but I was excited to experience church in a movie theater setting. I’ve been a fan of the concept for a while, but this was the first time I’d seen it in action.

Here’s my top takeaway: The movie theater environment works. It’s comfortable and flexible. It’s in a place people are already familiar with. The setup does downplay interaction between people during the service, but let’s face it – a Sunday service isn’t where most meaningful interaction between folks is going to happen anyway. Most “main gatherings” exist for worship and teaching, and that’s easily done in a place where people are already used to sitting and absorbing information and stories.

And finally, I have to say that the folks at NCC have put together a great looking coffee shop. It seems to be in a prime location, and they pulled it off with excellence. I loved seeing people sitting around talking. The space for meetings downstairs and their office space upstairs works perfectly for how their church is structured.

(If you’re not familiar with NCC, their pastor Mark Batterson blogs at evotional.com. We’ve talked about them numerous times before, including here, here, and here.)

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