Pastor Begins Church to Reach 'Unchurched'
Womer, Kelly, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Kelly Womer Daily Herald Correspondent
The Rev. Ed Doepel is combing through professional demographic studies and conducting his own informal research on everything from music preferences to average incomes of folks living around the Fox Valley Center area.
He wants to know his market and customer base, but he's not opening a new business.
His findings are all part of building a church that is taking a different approach to reach a new audience. The target market is those who aren't currently attending church.
"We saw a need for a church in this area, designed to reach people who are unchurched," Doepel said. "We want to reach them in innovative and new ways."
This past spring, Doepel started Crossroads Community Church, which already attracts nearly 200 people at its upbeat Sunday morning service. There's light jazz and rock music, drama and movie clips that set the stage for Doepel's message. It's all mixed in with prayer, confession and other aspects of a church service that people may be used to.
"We incorporate traditional elements of worship in a contemporary style," he said.
Crossroads Community Church meets at Granger Middle School, 1305 Long Grove Drive, Aurora, where subdivisions, offices and shopping centers are always cropping up.
"This is a brand new area, and so many people are moving in and out," he said. "The fields are ripe for harvest."
As one of the pastors at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle, Doepel decided to venture out on his own and found the new church. …