While most church plants focus on neighbors in terms of homes, a new church plant, Alive Ministries, is making business its business.
The Christian Reformed congregation is located in the commercial district of Jenison, Mich., and is part of the Grandville/Jenison Chamber of Commerce in order to align with business operators.
Chamber director Sandy LeBlanc praised Alive’s presence and involvement with area businesses. “The church being here brings more vitality to the community,” she said.
Alive’s pastor, Rev. Terry Scholten, said, “We can collaborate to discern needs in the community and [learn] how businesses and nonprofits can meet those needs.”
Scholten said Alive’s facility in the former Georgetown Township hall and library offers a neutral, casual environment for visitors. Open worship space interweaves with a refreshment area, defined only by purple and green outer walls.
“The building needs to be adaptable for whatever changes come, flexible for multipurpose ministry, and a comfortable place to be,” Scholten said.
To gain ideas, the new congregation, with a core of people from First CRC in Jenison, worshiped for a month with Monroe Community, a Christian Reformed church in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.
Attendance at Alive averages more than 100 per Sunday.
EverGreen CRC in nearby Hudsonville is Alive’s coaching church, helping Alive work through church plant issues, ideas, and vision direction to foster a solid beginning, said EverGreen’s Rev. Larry Doornbos. “While surrounding churches are focused on their neighborhoods in terms of houses, Alive has put itself in a place where it is focused on a neighborhood of businesses,” Doornbos said.
Alive and the Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a forum for businesses, schools, churches, and non-profit agencies to discuss community needs, resources, and volunteers.
Alive receives funding from Classis Georgetown (its regional group of churches) and Christian Reformed Home Missions.