Chicago-Area Church Plant Gains Momentum
By Charlie Arms
In 2014, after consultation with Indiana Ministries, our family moved from sunny Florida and took on the responsibility of planting a church in northwest Indiana. Locals refer to this area of Indiana as “the Region,” primarily because we are part of Indiana, yet in many ways more closely connected through business and lifestyle with Chicago.
It became clear to us that the opportunity for ministry and outreach were plentiful because of the migration of people from Chicago and the natural sprawl of the city. Not to mention, there was a conspicuous need for a relaxed and modern style of church in such a bustling and fast-paced area. We have discovered that, because so many of the churches in our area are very religious and traditional and inwardly focused, people have no idea how wonderful things like community, mission, and outreach can be!
In our first year, we were just trying get to know people and build relationships. Ours was a parachute-drop church plant. Indiana Ministries and many of our Church of God congregations around the state have adopted us and encouraged us, but on the ground here locally, we didn’t have a pre-existing group and/or ready-made relationships. Our family of four were the first members in a new church we called Momentum. We planned and strategized and started reaching out through social media, local events, and meetings at local restaurants and cafes. After several months, we had about twenty-five people, in addition to us, who were part of our church launch team. Our vision was to simplify the church experience and help people discover the joy of living for God! Our motto: Real.Simple.Church.
Our new launch team started meeting at a local pizzeria on Sunday mornings. We were able to form some deep bonds, and it was amazing to meet all the talented and wonderful people God brought in those early days to our launch team. Our first big event was a trunk or treat event we held at the local fairgrounds, and our team of twenty-five hosted three thousand area residents! We launched the next week at the YMCA with about one hundred in attendance. We later moved to Crown Point High School where we would continue to grow and mature over the next couple years.
In 2017, we purchased a building in Crown Point, Indiana, and added a second campus in Schererville. Over the past few months, we have been undergoing renovations to both facilities and are planning to launch a daycare in our Crown Point location. We are healthy and growing, and have been blessed to baptize forty-two people in our short existence. Approximately 250 people call Momentum Church home between our two campuses. Our Crown Point facility is opening in October 2017, and we are thrilled about the new opportunity this presents to connect with the people of the Region!