I’ve been alluding to this for a few weeks now, but our church, The Dwelling Place* (where I am the facilitator) is moving (<-- we love old buildings). Actually, it is the first of several changes as moving presents an opportunity to re-examine, re-tool and re-focus what we do and what we’re about. For the last year or so, I’ve felt like we’ve been locked in a prevent defense, playing not to lose. It’s easy for churches to become too inwardly focused, trying to prevent folks from leaving rather than boldly moving forward. So I think it’s important to periodically ask some questions as a continuation of any church’s cultural/attitude shift: -what do we want to do (what do we say we’re about and how are we carrying that out)?
-what are we impacting the community?
-how are we going to disciple/mentor others?
-what is our vision with our small groups/house churches/do the internal care-taking?
-what do we want our children’s ministry to cover and do?
-how can we continue to use our gathering to draw people nearer to Christ?

Here’s the short version of what we’re up to: We’re moving into a new building owned by another congregation, New Paradigm. We always knew we wanted to be in an arts district here in town, ideally Broad Ripple, and Broad Ripple is where we’ve landed. We’re switching to a Saturday evening service.

It’s sad that our usual church experience has involved worrying about stepping on another church’s toes, how we get so territorial as if there’s not enough work to go around. We’ve been in conversation with several churches in the area and have formed a cooperative, a fellowship of churches all working in the same area; four expressions of the body of Christ. While we’ll be located in one church building, our offices will be in another church’s building. In fact, all of the churches in the area will have their offices there. It’ll make it easier for us to coordinate our efforts. Do we all agree on every point? Not at all. Do we do things similarly? Not at all. Do we agree on the big things and agree that there is room to debate the minor things? Yup. Do we recognize that the Church looks kind of ridiculous if we spend all of our time dividing from one another rather than working with each other to be a blessing to the community we’re called to? Absolutely.

Will we be stretching each other? Well, they said they want to help co-host Mo*Con IV, so, yeah, there will be some stretching.

As we’ve sat down with our new church partner, we’ve already seen how our ministries line up and can be augmented by the other, from our ministry to the arts community to our work with homeless/youth.

A new chapter in the adventure begins, but the mission remains the same: Be a blessing to each other and to the community as we advance the kingdom of God.

The Dwelling Place/New Paradigm Christian Church Building
6202 N Carrollton Ave
Indianapolis, Indiana 46220

*The web site is almost done being re-tooled. We had to wait until the details of everything had been finalized, so give me a couple weeks.

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