Christ Community Church exists to make passionate disciples of Jesus Christ who are belonging, growing, serving, and reaching.

As one church on five campuses in the western Chicago suburbs, Christ Community strives to be a place for you to meet new friends, be cared for, serve in the community, study the Bible, and take your next best step.


By Senior Pastor Jim Nicodem, updated and revised Dec 2021 by Eric Ferris

Jesus promised his followers, in Matthew 16:18, that he would build his church—and that the gates of hell would not be able to overcome it. The church that Jesus spoke of is not a building made of brick and mortar—it’s a building made of people. But at Christ Community Church, we’ve discovered that these people need a place to meet, and so brick and mortar buildings do play a significant role in the growth of a church. So, let’s trace the history of Christ Community Church by tracing the succession of buildings in which we’ve met. It all began back in 1984. A group of six couples in the St. Charles area was meeting regularly for Bible study when the idea occurred to them to start a church. Their greatest concern was not for themselves. They wanted to launch a church that would appeal to their friends and neighbors who were unchurched—and missing out on a relationship with Jesus Christ.

An outside consultant told this group that the best way to begin a church would be to find a pastor—and that he knew of a young pastor named Jim Nicodem who might be the right guy for the job. Sue and I were leading a church out on Cape Cod at the time, but the group in St. Charles soon convinced us—with the help of God’s Spirit, of course—to move to the Midwest and launch Christ Community.

After checking out two dozen possible facilities, our group finally decided to hold our first weekend services in a movie theatre at the St. Charles Mall—a shopping center that no longer exists. At the time, the lead store in this mall was K-Mart—and so we quickly got a name in the community as the “K-Mart” church or the “blue light special” church. Whatever they called us, people began to come—and find Christ and begin to follow him.


Because our weekend services presented Christianity at an introductory level for those who were new to the faith, we decided to hold additional Wednesday night services each week that would help committed Christ followers grow. The theatre was not available on Wednesday night, so it was necessary to find another auditorium. After looking and looking… and looking—with no success—our generous brothers and sisters at Faith Lutheran Church in Geneva told us that they would move their Wednesday night gatherings to the basement so that Christ Community Church could use their sanctuary for our mid-week services!


About this time we began saving money to purchase land on which to build a church of our own one day. We got out a map and drew a square around our target area. The northern boundary of that square was Bolcum Rd—three and a half miles north of Rt. 64. That was as far north as we were willing to go to locate property. We would absolutely not consider any parcel of land—even one inch—beyond that point. Period! But then God, in good humor, led us to property on Randall Rd. just north of Bolcum for an outrageously good price. The property was 40 acres of alfalfa when we bought it, and Randall was a two-lane country road.

Meanwhile, back at the St. Charles Mall Theatre, we were bursting at the seams. Christ Community Church had been up and running for 5 years, and 700 people now crowded into three weekend services. That’s when we were told that we were creating too big a headache for our landlords and would need to move out within a year. Within a year?! We had just finished paying off our land—how could we come up with enough money to construct a building? In faith, we put together a financial campaign with a deadline—and people began making huge sacrifices for the cause. But one week before the deadline we were still thousands of dollars short with only one offering to go.

At our midweek gathering at Faith Lutheran Church, ushers collected that offering at the beginning of the service so they could count it as we worshipped together. At the end of the service, an usher handed me an envelope with the final number written on it. I opened it with fear and trepidation—and then burst out shouting: We made it! We made it! People had given, in fact, thousands of dollars beyond the amount that was needed. That was the beginning of a trend at Christ Community—a trend of generous, sacrificial giving, which has allowed our church to continue growing and reaching more and more people for Christ. It costs money to construct buildings, hire staff, and launch ministries. Fortunately, one of the hallmarks of our congregation has been that we are givers.


Our first-phase facility at Bolcum and Randall was the room that we now call the chapel, along with a ring of classrooms and offices around it. While this building was going up, my son, Andrew—who was a toddler at the time— visited the construction site with me. While we were eating our sack lunch on the spot where the platform of the chapel now stands, Andrew spilled his grape soda. So a thousand years from now, when archaeologists dig up the church’s ruins, they will probably find the purple stain and conclude that animal sacrifices were offered there. Not true! It was just grape soda.


We moved into the 500-seat chapel in 1991 and were soon holding multiple services. So, we built a gymnasium to the north of the chapel, and that gymnasium began serving us on weekends in 1995 as an 800-seat auditorium. But we soon maxed out that space and began a campaign to raise $6M for a state-of-the-art auditorium, welcome center, book store, and café. Once again people dug deep and gave sacrificially. On January 10, 2003, we dedicated our new 1500 seat auditorium on the St. Charles campus. 500 additional seats were later added as balconies. This auditorium is now frequently packed for Inspiring Stories weekends, special events, and holiday celebrations, as regular attenders bring their friends to hear the Good News about Jesus Christ.

KidsWorld & The Hub
While the number of adults has been growing at Christ Community Church’s St. Charles Campus, so has the number of children and students. KidsWorld, our children’s ministry, is one of the biggest draws of our church. We love to help entire families discover a growing relationship with God. In 2006 we opened a creatively designed children’s wing with pie-shaped classrooms, an auditorium for large group gatherings, and best of all—a climbing wall! In 2008, The HUB was added for middle school, high school, and college students: game tables, café, and an auditorium for their worship, programs and events. Over $10M was raised to provide these venues for children and youth. But this has turned out to be a very wise investment as hundreds of young lives are being shaped by God’s Word and Spirit every week in these locations.


So far, this recap of Christ Community’s history has focused on the St. Charles campus. And that’s because we were a one-campus church for the first 20 years of our existence, until one day we noticed about 150 of our regulars were driving all the way from the DeKalb-Sycamore area. Wouldn’t it make more sense to start an extension campus in their own community? This group jumped at the opportunity to launch “Christ Community Church West.” We soon found just the right location: Pens Point Market on Rt. 38 in DeKalb and opened our doors in the fall of 2004. The renovated Farm and Fleet building served us well for 13 years, but we wanted a permanent home closer to NIU and DeKalb High School. We opened our current campus building off Dresser Rd. in September, 2017.


For our third campus, we moved south from St. Charles to the Blackberry Creek area of Aurora. Blackberry Creek Community Church—a congregation of about 250—had already been meeting for about 14 years. They were without a senior pastor and wondering what their next step should be. Christ Community Church offered to adopt them as a regional campus. After much discussion and prayer, we came to an enthusiastic agreement and launched our Campus in Aurora. In 2011, we added a larger KidsWorld facility to better minister to the growing number of families.


2011 was also the year that we launched yet another regional campus— this time in Bartlett. We began holding services in the Bartlett Community Center. In October 2014, we moved into a site on Stearns Road in Bartlett. Exactly two years later, Christ Community adopted Lamplighter Bible Church in Streamwood. Leadership of both churches chose to move the Bartlett Campus into Lamplighter’s building to serve the Streamwood, Bartlett, and Hanover Park communities.


In January of 2021 (during the Covid pandemic!) Christ Community adopted Journey Church in Huntley - a small, but enthusiastic congregation in Huntley. The property location is ideal as it sits at a major intersection in the heart of Huntley. Our Huntley campus is also home of Little Journey Preschool - a top rated preschool in McHenry County.

An important part of our strategy in launching regional campuses has been to videocast the teaching from the St. Charles weekend services, rather than asking the campus pastors to present the sermons each week. This approach has proven to be hugely successful in two very important ways. First, it has provided us with a sense of unity—we are one church in multiple locations. The common teaching ties us together every weekend. In fact, in January of 2013, we were able to move from a one-week delay of the sermons on video to our regional campuses—to live, same weekend, simulcast sermons. This has given us an even greater sense of unity.

Second, by not demanding that our campus pastors preach every week we have freed them up from 20 hours or so of sermon preparation so they can focus their efforts on overseeing the many ministries at their campuses. The growth of our regional campuses demonstrates that this strategy is working. Most church start-ups around the country never grow beyond 100-150 people, because their pastors are saddled with both preaching and leading responsibilities. But Christ Community campuses are healthy and growing, thanks to the combination of good, solid Bible teaching from the St. Charles campus and gifted leadership from the local campus pastors and their staff.