Lynchburg, VA - You may have noticed what looks like a ski resort lodge along Leesville Road in Lynchburg. The new building is the remodeled Calvary Chapel.
The pastor calls it--the 'third place'. The first--is your home, second--is work and then there's the place you hang out.
The pastor at Calvary wants people to feel comfortable enough at church to visit more than just once or twice a week.
"I'm thankful for email and Facebook and all of those things and texting, but I think we'd all agree that it causes us to grow apart a little bit more," said Troy Warner, the senior pastor at Calvary Chapel.
Over the 18 years he's served here, the congregation had outgrown the building in style and size.
"We were just elbow to elbow and it felt like, I need to get out of this place because it's so crowded," he said.
In order to accommodate, Warner knew they had to build.
"We want people to stick around and make those personal connections. I mean, community is such a buzz word. It's a buzz word because people are lacking it in their lives," said Warner.
To encourage that sense of community, they decided to build something a little more comfortable.
"We wanted to warm it up."
In about six months, Calvary Chapel went from a warehouse style barn into a mountain lodge. Inside, they upgraded the sanctuary and added a lounge area. They'll have plenty of places to sit, drink coffee and use wifi.
"Just a place to get away during the middle of the day and to come together with other people. For people who come to church, this feels like home to them," he said.
In a society where technology connects us, a little more fellowship can go a long way.
"That's what the church has always been about - about people coming and connecting, first with God and then with people," said Warner.
Warner says he hopes to open the lounge area in a few weeks once all the furniture is in. Then, there will be a new place to sit and relax from Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.