“Church in a box” is a way of describing a church (the people) that do not have permanent meeting location and each week they have to set up everything they need to “do” church, tear it down and store it off site during the days between gatherings.
TNL Church is a church in a box. We meet in a place close to our offices called The Gothic Theatre. Because we meet in an icon concert venue we have to make some adjustments to the faculty to turn a safe place into a sacred space. Here is a list of some of the odd things we do in order to have church in the Gothic:
- Set out Bibles by the beer taps.
- Set up coffee and volunteer information a bar top.
- Sort out chairs that have too much blood or vomit on them.
- Remove stickers (eg. “I ♥ vaginas.”) from the lobby counter, bathroom mirrors or floors.
- Clean and stock restrooms. Sometimes we have to provide the TP.
- Collect partially drunk deer bottles and cocktails from around the room.
- Fabreeze the whole place or light candles to cover the smell.
- Clean up “questionable” spill on the floor.
- Roll sound gear through an alley.
- Climb onto the marquee to list our name.
- Remove steel barricade from in front of the stage.
- Flip over bar stools for people to sit on.
- Cover lobby counter that is graffitied by concerts goers.
- Deal with concert posters promoting upcoming shows that are sexually suggestive, violent or just plain creepy.
- Take down promotional banners left behind by radio station.
- Clean up the parking lot, alley and sidewalk of bottles, cigarette butts and condoms.
While in seminary I would never thought these things would have been necessary to hold church, but its all worth the effort to create an environment where people can connect or reconnect with God and his church.