ROCHESTER, N.Y.—Northridge Church opened its second campus at the Regal Theater in the Greece Ridge Mall. This Baptist church meets in Irondequoit, a suburb of Rochester, but decided to expand its walls by opening another campus, referred to as the Greece campus.
“Instead of expecting people to come to us, we decided to take the church to the people,” says Campus Pastor Nate Miller. “In our culture the movie theater is the postmodern well. It is where the community goes—what better place to have a church service.”
A video on the church’s website shows the community what church in a theater is like.
Services at the Greece campus are identical to the ones held in Irondequoit, except the sermon is streamed live on the theater’s screen. Nate leads the campus services, which include live music. He says, “The only thing different is watching the sermon on the big screen.” He adds, “A lot of churches are slowly dying. Ours is thriving—and we are excited about taking Northridge Church to Greece.”
The Greece campus sees about 235 adults and children on any given Sunday. Then, one Sunday night a month, Northridge Church has a vertical worship service held at the Irondequoit campus. Pastor Nate says, “Everyone is invited to come, regardless of campus. A lot of Greece people go to that service. It’s a great time.” He says that this gathering usually includes a celebration of Communion and an extended time of worship. “It’s a great time for people to fellowship,” he says. The church also has community groups, involving over 70 percent of the church. Some of these fellowship groups are campus specific, while others are mixed, providing further fellowship for people from the two campuses.
Pastor Nate says that one of the “really neat things” about doing portable church—and about “being right in the community, in a mall, in a Regal theater”—is the opportunity for anyone and everyone to serve, no matter what skills they have. He says, “Every role that every person plays is a significant role in helping us make more and better followers of Christ and in helping us expand and spread the gospel across the city of Rochester.”