David Redish, pastor at The Crossing at 480, wasn’t content to rock his way to retirement. Instead, he and his congregation of Baby Boomers planted a church near the University of Kentucky campus to reach Millennials and Generation Z through celebration, camaraderie and teaching.
“[We want college students to know] that there is a wonderful, everlasting, guilt-free, alternate way to live in this world, to understand life, and to pursue what you believe is your calling in life,” David said. “We’re here to help you find it.”
The congregation at 480, as the church is known, seeks to be present, involved and available to their community. Their building not only functions as a meeting place for a weekly worship services, but also as a community center. The church rents their space to various groups, such as Young Life, as well as hosts Zumba classes, potlucks, tailgating parties, a philosophical small group, and recreational events.
The space is designed to allow for conversation and fellowship, but also has quieter spaces for studying. Although the church gives away coffee, hot chocolate and hamburgers, they are careful not to hide their identity.
“We give away hamburgers in the name of Jesus for the cause of Christ so that you can know Jesus,” David said. “The idea is to welcome people in here and then a conversation can come.”
Just as Paul did in Athens, David presents Christian faith to people who are not biblically oriented. College students often have questions about “Who is the Lord?” “Which god is he?” and “Why do you say that one?”
In his messages and conversations, David builds a case for who Jesus is as creator, explaining why it was necessary for Jesus to die for the sins of humanity, before presenting him as savior.