Church Plant Finds Bowling Alley to Its Liking
Worship director Mike Paterson (on guitar) leads singing on kickoff Sunday at Lifeline Christian Church, which is meeting in a bowling alley in Algonquin, Illinois. 

By Jennifer Taylor

Dave and Marcy Rudin didn’t even have to move to launch their new church plant.

After growing up in the Chicago area and serving as a pastor with Summit View Christian Church (Hoffman Estates, Illinois) for 17 years, Rudin realized his own neighborhood—20 minutes from the Summit View Campus—also needed a Christian church. The Rudins partnered with Ignite Church Planting to plant Lifeline Christian Church this February . . . in a bowling alley.

“We needed a place to meet and began looking at our community through fresh eyes,” Rudin says. “The Brunswick Zone bowling alley had a huge restaurant area not being used on Sunday morning, a video system, even a fireplace in one corner.” The church also uses the building’s event rooms for children’s programming.

The unconventional meeting spot has other advantages.

“Everyone in the community knows how to find Brunswick Zone, and it’s a popular gathering spot for birthday parties, league nights, and laser tag,” he says. “Members of the chamber of commerce and other groups have attended our services, and we always attract interest from the people who are in the building to bowl!”

The church also received permission to use the space for outreach activities last Thanksgiving; Lifeline members cooked a meal in the restaurant’s kitchen and served 100 homeless kids and their families. Brunswick Lanes charged nothing for the event and let every family bowl for free.

“We’re having the time of our lives,” Rudin says. “Eventually we will outgrow this space, but for now it’s perfect for our needs.”

Jennifer Taylor, one of Christian Standard’s contributing editors, lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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