The Need: Indianapolis is Largely Unreached
Over 1 million people (60 percent of residents) in the Indy-metro area are unaffiliated with a Christian church; even fewer are affiliated with an evangelical church. For example, in Fishers, 57 percent of the population has no religious affiliation at all. Of the 43 percent acknowledging any religious affiliation, only 53 percent of them are Protestant—and the number of evangelicals is even smaller. Indianapolis is vibrant and growing. In the northeast Indianapolis suburbs (Fishers, Noblesville, east Carmel), real estate developers estimate that 250,000 people will live in that area by 2020. In 2013, Marion County had the largest population increase in 20 years, with an increase of 9,394 residents. The next fastest-growing counties are Hamilton (7,294) and Hendricks (3,071).
Our Vision: Take College Park Next Door
Our call is to mobilize our church to reach unchurched people in the Indy-metro area through a strategy of church multiplication.
Neighbor Outreach: Starting local churches near our own people will allow them to reach their neighbors more effectively.
- Planting where our people live allows them to be more intentional about reaching their neighbors and inviting them to a local church.
- As people come to faith, they can then help disciple them and walk through the Christian life with them.
Theological: God’s heart is for multiplication on many levels.
- God’s first command to mankind is to bear fruit and multiply, spreading the image of God throughout the world (Gen. 1:28).
- Jesus gives a similar example as he turns the 12 into 70 disciples and then multiplies this group of followers into the Church today (Acts 1:8).
- Paul says the gospel is now bearing fruit and multiplying in local churches as they increase throughout the whole world (Col. 1:6, 1 Thess. 1:8).
- New churches are just one way for us to express God’s desire to multiply disciples of Jesus.
Missiological: Church is best when it is personal, local, and incarnational, and God has put us in a position to start churches.
- Having a vibrant local church in one’s area drastically affects culture and how a person thinks about inviting people to church.
- People need to be reached through personal relationships with the gospel and they need local gospel-proclaiming churches in which to hear the gospel and be discipled.
Spiritual: We need to mobilize our people and raise up new leaders to keep a battleship mentality and fight the pull towards consumerism.
- It takes everyone using their gifts in the church to keep us all growing together (1 Cor. 12:12-14).
- Church planting increases member participation by creating gaps that people have to step up and fill.
- Church planting and multi-sites create ways to raise up leaders and stretch them in ministry.
Our Plan: Multi-Site Congregations Leading to a Family of Healthy Churches
We believe that starting churches in the city will help the people in our body invite their neighbors, connect in more meaningful ways to our community, and motivate all of us to live out our external mission. These local churches with the same mission, Core Values, theology, governance, and DNA of College Park will allow us to continue growing wide as well as deep; They will allow us to take the gospel throughout our city. Our long-term vision is for the College Park Family of Churches to be birthed through this Next Door focus to reach our city for Christ.
Learn more about the Next Door Mission at yourchurch.com/nextdoor.