Though there are hundreds of churches in the Columbus area, many local residents are tuning into a sermon broadcast from Cincinnati.
“I’d checked out a lot of places here,” said Tyler Young of Upper Arlington. “I’d given up.”
Young couldn’t find anything in central Ohio like Crossroads, a nondenominational Christian church that began in Cincinnati, which he’d first attended 20 years ago while living there.
Crossroads fills a “very definitive niche,” he said, calling it a church with no frills or requirements, just “true believers.”
After looking for years, Young found out that Crossroads, with nine locations in the Cincinnati and northern Kentucky area, had been considering a location in Columbus, where he’s lived for several years, so he rejoined.
“It’s meant to be a completely different church for people who’ve given up on church but not on God,” he said.
The church doesn’t have a permanent location in Columbus yet, so each week, Young welcomes his friends into his apartment for drinks, discussion and a cookout. The group settles into his living room, watches the sermon on his television and then goes outside to enjoy the food he grills.
The conversation is casual, moving from thoughts on the pastor’s message to what’s going on in each of their lives.
They’re “living life together,” as Young describes it, which he believes also sets it apart from other church experiences.
Young is one of about 60 people in Columbus who tune into the weekly sermons with a group, and one of five who host gatherings in their homes, said Jennifer Sperry, Crossroads spokeswoman.
The streaming service Young and others watch is called Crossroads Anywhere, which the church started in November 2015.
About 5,000 people worldwide stream the services, with 3,000 living outside Cincinnati.
Columbus, where people have been meeting for a year, was the first location outside of the Cincinnati area that the church set its eye…