Bethel Baptist Church
- United States
Snapshot of Bethel
Bethel is a rural, multi-site church about 25 minutes west of suburban Indianapolis. With a growing average attendance of around 350, the dominant demographic in the congregation is 25-35 year olds with families. God has chosen to grow Bethel over the last 7 years as we strive to do whatever it takes to reach the lost in Putnam County. With the hire of an Executive Pastor in August, Bethel is now working to lay the foundation for the future with the realignment of staff, ministries, and processes throughout the church.
Bethel’s original campus is a 130-year old church building out on a country crossroads in Fillmore, IN, but on Easter 2015, we launched a portable campus in the nearby college town of Greencastle, IN, the home of DePauw University. The launching of a second campus in a prominent location has opened doors Bethel has never encountered before, and made it clear that Bethel is poised to transform radically in the coming years.
Bethel is led by a group of pastors who know the hopelessness of being lost, firsthand. We lead by example in creating a culture of authenticity and freedom in Christ by avoiding the temptation to appear perfect. We all live in a fallen world and fight our sinful nature on a daily basis. Staff included. But we hope Bethel is a place where imperfect people can feel loved and accepted, and hear about Jesus.
As a church culture, Bethel works hard to maintain an outward focus in its people, and seeks to grow by reaching the lost. We want to make decisions based on what will help lost people find Jesus, not based on what will make religious people comfortable.
We’re working to align everything we do as a church under purpose of helping lost people connect with Jesus and helping them join the work of the gospel. We want to remove every barrier from making that happen. We ascribe strongly to the belief statement, “Found people find people. Saved people serve people. Growing people change. You can’t do life alone, and you can’t out-give God.” We love to have fun together, we love to work hard, and we love to see the lost, broken, down and out come to know Jesus.
Bethel’s ultimate goal is to see the redemption of the Church in rural America. We want to see a healthy church in every community, because when God revives the Church, we will also see the redemption of individual lives, families, and communities. As God continues to move through Bethel, we plan to grow by planting more campuses in rural communities. Rural community is a niche market that is often forgotten by church planters and high level leaders, but the fields are ripe for the harvest! Rural communities are the next frontier for multi-site church, and we want to blaze the trail!
Bethel would also love to influence a national trend of the transformation of churches from older, ineffective churches to thriving church bodies, largely through the process of church mergers. Our hope is to see rural churches stop fighting to survive in isolation, and instead catch a Kingdom-minded vision to be the body of Christ together as we strive to reach the lost in our communities.
In our individual churches, we want to do ministry with excellence and not settle for “good enough.” We want to be invested in our communities by giving of our money, our time, and our sweat, so that people might argue with us philosophically, but they can never argue with the impact God is making on our communities through the obedience of His people. We want to make an impact regionally and nationally by building up and sending out high-level leaders who have the ability to lead change and make an impact wherever they go.
In all of these strategies for fulfilling the Great Commission, our most important job through it all is to point to Christ as the creator and sustainer of His church – the reason for everything we do.