Geist Christian Church Expands into Fishers
Geist Christian Church, which is located on the corner of Mud Creek Road and 86th Street expanded its services to a North campus a little over a year ago. Since September of 2008, the Christian congregation has utilized the concept of multi-site churches, but with an added personal touch. Instead of broadcasting services at their satellite location, the pastor commutes back and forth, maintaining an actual physical presence. The idea was to have the same church, but in two locations. Although the Promise Road and 126th Street church location shares the same staff and ministers, the expansion has provided the perfect opportunity for growth in their overall worship attendance, increasing their number at both locations to well over 1,200 Christians.
The new location provides a new, but much needed Community Center for the greater Fishers/Noblesville area. There is not only a gymnasium, which provides an ideal space for basketball, volleyball, as well as numerous other sports to be played in their adjacent facility, but there is also a new coffee shop appropriately titled, “Promise Road Coffee.” Both of these facilities may be part of the church building, but are intended to be neutral territory. The goal of the coffee shop was to create a welcoming environment and to provide more options outside of the traditional commercial choices that nearby residents may have, such as Starbucks. An added bonus is the free Wi-Fi access in their coffee shop, thus making telecommuting for business professionals as easy as getting out of bed, driving down a block or two, and turning on their lap tops, with a ready made cup of coffee to get them through that important meeting. Ryan Hazen, who serves as the Senior Associate Minister, refers to “Promise Road Coffee” as a “third place.” Third place, originally coined by Ray Oldenburg and first referenced in his 1990 book titled, The Great Good Place, applies to a location other than your home (typically your first place) or work (your second place) where a person can go to relax and feel like they are a member of the community.
Geist Christian Church, in operation since 1985, has built itself around five fundamental principles that include: the belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior; belief that The Lord’s Table is an open and inclusive table; belief in the ministry of all believers; belief in the love of unity, and belief in the justice of God.
Although these principles may sound familiar, they truly carry power. Even though Geist Christian Church is one of approximately 3,500 congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a mainline protestant denomination founded on the American frontier, they still manage to differentiate itself and not in a obtrusive manner. Both locations provide a much needed day care service for children aged eighteen months to pre-school/kindergarten.
Also, while the Youth, or ALTARed service, as it is formally referred to, currently takes place at the Mud Creek campus for 6 through 12 graders, plans are in place to expand this ever popular service to teen worship needs, providing a great opportunity to demonstrate and really utilize their leadership potential to the fullest, to the North campus. All in all, Mr. Hazen mentioned the current plan of organizing a strategic team sometime in 2010 to develop a more comprehensive five-year plan for the expansion of the Geist Christian Church’s North location. The initial building project has been ongoing and will eventually include a total of three buildings, providing the ever growing Christian population in the greater Fishers and Noblesville area with an expanded place of worship.
For more information on Geist Christian Church programs and services, please visit www.geistchristian.org.