Since 1997, Community Christian Church has relentlessly pursued its mission of helping people find their way back to God.
They do this by focusing on REACHING people who are currently far from God, RESTORING this world back to God’s dream, and REPRODUCING this mission in the lives of others.
Over time though, it became harder and harder to accomplish that mission at their main “Yellow Box” campus in Naperville, Illinois.
Called Yellow Box because of its striking exterior color and unique design, Community Christian had been holding five services every weekend in its “gymnatorium”—a gymnasium that doubled as an auditorium for Sunday worship.
Because of its limited size and convertibility, the space severely restricted this campus from growing in the ways they believe God desired for it.
Together with Aspen Group, the church embarked on an intense process focused on identifying the church’s unique culture and needs.
Aspen designed specific spaces to meet Community’s needs for Yellow Box—a new state-of-the-art auditorium with theater seating for more than 1,100, a new cafe and lobby spaces to encourage conversation and connection, and a 1,000-square-foot training center.
Although the new auditorium seats nearly double the capacity the gym could hold, specific design elements were incorporated to create a sense of intimacy in the large, new space—factors that appeal especially to young adults, such as natural light, and varied seating options, like high-top tables and soft seating along the perimeter of the main floor.
Seating clusters line the perimeter of the main floor, and raised nooks with high-top tables and outlets for plugging into devices during services all help create a more intimate feel in an otherwise large space. The second floor features sky box seating for people who prefer to sit above the crowd.
LiveSpace, a premier audio/video/lighting company, also outfitted the auditorium with new LED and side projection screens, a high-grade sound system, and a sophisticated lighting system for top-quality worship and performances.
Committed to making the church a place for people in the community to use on Sundays and throughout the week, Yellow Box added a full-scale café with breakfast and lunch items, as well as WiFi-ready hotspots in their first- and second-floor lobbies.
Though the auditorium and new lobbies provide a top-quality venue for many types of events, it’s the addition of another new space—a second-floor, glass-enclosed training center—that may have the greatest impact on both the church and the community. This space is to mentor and train new pastors, church leaders, and leaders of every kind, including local school districts and businesses.
Since its renovation, Yellow Box has seen steady growth in attendance. Ultimately, Community Christian Church hopes its renovated Yellow Box campus will be a tool that not only brings more people through their doors, but helps them find their way back to God.
Aspen Group is a ministry-focused, integrated design, build, and furnish firm with more than a decade of experience serving churches, www.aspengroup.com.
Photos ©Aspen Group/Pete Christie