Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year EnjoyChurch.TV will no longer be located only in Alton and online, but now has recently added another campus to O’Fallon, which Senior Pastor Daren Carstens believes is right where their ministry belongs.
“For years we met at various locations ranging from Roxana High School in Roxana, Ill., to other church facilities we would lease on a short term basis to community buildings, and more recently the Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon,” Carstens said. “Our running joke used to be ‘if you can find us, you can join us.’”
Since inception in 1975, Enjoy Church has been dedicated to expanding its base of followers through embracing three principles that guide the choices of the church as a whole.
What began as a small group of people that had no set meeting space or designated building other than leasing or using community available spaces has now grown to hundreds of followers building churches and orphanages overseas.
And, six years ago Enjoy Church purchased property in Alton. Now, with a secondary campus, Carstens hopes his father’s mission of building a congregation will only continue to grow.
“We were all over the place until we could purchase the property in Alton,” Carstens added. “Now with this new O’Fallon location we are really putting roots down, and we’re so excited to be here—we’ve always had a heart for the area.”
The Alton campus is located at 3303 Homer M Adams Pkwy, Alton, Ill., 62002. The O’Fallon campus is located at 251 Regency Park Dr.
“We’re so glad to have EnjoyChurch.TV in their new building and part of O’Fallon again,” O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce Director Debbie Arell-Martinez said.
According to Carstens, Enjoy Church’s vision has always been to lead people to experience and enjoy a relationship with God and their community.
“Our church’s mission is to introduce people to a relationship with God, and what we try to do it in a very practical way, and in such a way that keeps God’s word as it’s in the Bible, but so they can apply it to their own lives on a day-to-day basis,” Carstens said. “We work real hard on helping people re-establish a relationship with God without condemning them or heaping upon them a lot of rules or regulations—we emphasize God’s love for them and that God is for them, not against them. The best days of their lives can be ahead of them.”
For example, “Enjoy Church is a ‘God-first church’ that embodies an ‘accepting atmosphere’ with ‘relevant environments,’” including foundational, cultural and expression values to expand to a diverse amount of people.
Carstens said, whether high on life or going through a rough time, “we’re here to help you in your time of need, celebrate with you in times of success, and to build you up into the man or woman God created you to be.”
Being open and welcoming with no masks, no undue formality, and no pretense describes Enjoy Church’s goals of sincerity, according to Enjoy Church’s purpose.
“We have a real leadership and business culture where people grow, not only spiritually, but in their souls,” Carstens said. “They learn leadership principles from the Bible that apply to their careers, businesses, finance, family and also in your faith.”
Visible from Interstate 64, Enjoy Church, after opening its doors for services Sunday, Feb. 8, had attracted record crowds for its first service earlier this month.
“I was in my late teens when Dad started the ministry, and once I became older I assisted him until after his passing,” Carstens recalled. “We’ve also built churches in smaller communities—now we have four small churches that we’ve built in India, along with implementing local water wells for the community. Nine churches between Mexico and Guatemala, and we have an orphanage we have in Haiti that we support for about 120 children. Not to mention, a good number of our church members have gone to do missionary work in Southeast Asia, not only helping to build the structures, but also to teach work in the churches for short term missionary work, as well as teach English to children in Thailand and that region.”
Despite the two Illinois and many overseas locations, services are always streaming online on the EnjoyChurch.TV website.
“ABC Channel 30 also airs the service at 8 a.m. every Sunday morning to reach the St. Louis market, so it’s a pretty big footprint we are making overall,” Carstens explained. “We have state-of-the-art technologically advanced facilities with LED screens and video and audio systems all over, educational areas for children and adults and high tech security to ensure the little ones are safe at all times, plus we have a high-class coffee shop that we hope will become open to the public during the week very soon.”
Carstens and his wife, Laura, who also ministers along with him, have five children.
For more information visit http://www.enjoychurch.tv or follow Pastor Daren Carstens on Twitter @DarenCarstens or @EnjoyChurchTV. Also, Enjoy Church is on Facebook at Enjoychurch.tv and DarenWCarstens.