Phoenix ‘church at the box office’ reaches millennials at local cineplex

Phoenix ‘church at the box office’ reaches millennials at local cineplex

A church plant that meets in one of the theaters in a cineplex may not be big news. 

Except when a church plant impacts so many millennials that it never plans to leave.

Jeremiah Semmler and CityView Church, Phoenix, have seen more than 350 people land in their theater seats and connect with the church family. Instead of watching a new release many soon meet Jesus and become released to a new life in Christ.

“Every Sunday in the theater more than likely there is somebody that does not know Jesus,” Semmler said. “We do not ever plan to leave the theater.”

Semmler is an Arizona native planting a church near where he grew up. He served for many years as a student pastor before becoming a church planter, launching CityView in September 2015.

Nsikan is one example of a millennial who has connected with Christ at CityView. Nsikan came to the AMC movie complex to see a movie. One of CityView’s greeters went over to welcome him and his friend and invited them to church.

Semmler encouraged the two friends after worship, “If you like it here come back next week.”

Nsikan returned and first connected with CityView members. Soon, at a Panda Express, one of the members shared the gospel with Nsikan and he gladly received Christ.

‘Stand-up follower’

“I would like to get baptized,” he said. Nsikan is now one of many who has made the move from being a sit-down acquaintance to a stand-up follower of Jesus.

Semmler understands millennials and knows how to speak their language with 25- to 35-year-olds comprising the largest sector of the growing church.

“Our main focus is on people who are searching,” Semmler said. “We identify with people who are looking for a community home. One of the coolest things is to see someone on their way to the movies end up at church to give their life to Christ.”

CityView Church may decide to move to a different location in the next 10 or 15 years. Or this “church at the box office” might stay. With a big vision they are aiming to venture anew into church planting in the next few years.

Stay tuned for the sequel. (BP)

How to Pray:

  • Pray for more people to come to CityView Church and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
  • Pray for the CityView Church ministry teams as they go into the community to serve and share the love of Christ. (TAB)