Editor’s Note: The folks at Good Shepherd Church are pioneers in church planting with their initiative, the Community Care Network. It employs a unique church planting strategy to reach people—literally—where they live. Here’s their story:
The Good Shepherd Church is a multi-housing ministry. We are currently serving the community of Fountain Lake Villa apartment complex on the south side of Indianapolis. There are 208 units in this complex. God has used The Good Shepherd Church to meet the needs of the residents of this community since May 2018.
Out of our multi-housing ministry we started an organization called the Community Care Network. We work with apartment complexes across the state of Indiana to install Community Builders. Community Builders are Christian married couples, which live in the complex and provide for the physical and spiritual needs of the residents. We believe that building relationships is the best way to produce fertile soil for the seeds of the gospel. The stronger the relationship, the stronger the response to the gospel.
We are currently working with Renewing Management, an Indiana-based management company. They have 16 apartment complexes across the state. We operate the Community Care Network in five of the properties and working on putting Community Builders in all the properties. The goal of the Community Care Network is to reach the lost through relationships and building community. We hope to grow beyond the 16 complexes and reach as many people for the gospel as we can.
The Community Builder position was created to add life to our apartment communities and to give residents a sense of belonging and community. The Community Builders partner with the management team to build community and serve the residents by doing things that flow naturally out of the daily lifestyle of the residents, including welcoming new residents to the complex, planning monthly social events, and caring for residents and property staff in times of need.
Studies show that if a resident has a friend who lives at the same complex, they are significantly less likely to move, which will result in higher resident retention. We also believe that if we enhance the living experience of our residents our reputation will be greatly improved leading to even more success.
Responsibilities of the Community Builders are to:
- Deliver Welcome Home Packages and an introduction, delivered within first week of residency. We ask how their move-in went, and if there’s anything we could have done to improve it. We suggest ideas of things they would be interested in to do as a community.
- Communication for events: Monthly flyer, followed up by text reminders. Recognize life events within the community (marriage, birth, death).
- Determine emergency needs within the community: There’s an emergency fund at the office for those needing funds/help with rent. (This is not told to residents.)
- Compile resource list for reference to meet community needs, for example, local resources for banks, stores, physical and spiritual needs.
Our approach is to build relationships and meet whatever need presents itself, whether physical, social or spiritual. It is expected that this will take around 20-25 hours per month for the Community Builders to Complete.
About the author: Brad Nally currently serves as the lead church planter of Good Shepherd Church on the south side of Indianapolis, Indiana. We began our work with The Good Shepherd Church on January 1, 2016. He and his wife, Sky, graduated from Campbellsville University, where they met at a Bible study and eventually fell in love. Brad graduated with a bachelor’s degree in educational ministries in December 2014. Sky earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in May 2015. Sky is currently teaching at a public elementary school in Indianapolis. They recently had their first child, Sophia, in September 2018. If you would like to know more about their church family, send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.