Mission Indy was born out of Chapel Rock Christian Church, with a desire to help teens take the skills and motivations learned and developed on both the foreign and domestic mission fields, and put them into action at home, within their own cities. The goal was to help students see the mission of God as a lifestyle rather than a trip. The first year, 1997, saw over 200 youth and adults from 20 different churches come to partner with Chapel Rock reaching out to the inner city of Indianapolis. From 1998 to 2000, the numbers grew to 300 youth and adults from 25 churches. Mission Indy did not have a goal to start anything new, but simply wanted to partner with existing churches and ministries in the city. Some of the early partners were Area Youth ministry, City Light Ministries, Lovelink Clothing Ministry and Shepherd Community.
After the summer of 1999, Ron & Marsha Greiner, along with the original founding members of Mission Indy, began to sense God's leading to take the ministry to a different level. Several people prayed with them about what God was doing and how He would direct the future. The first years included only one week of group participation, but by 2000, it was seen that the number of weeks needed to be expanded. After much prayer and many talks, a core group of people moved to incorporate Mission Indy in October of 2000. A board of directors was put together and Mission Indy applied for status as a Non-Profit with the IRS, and received that designation in 2001. Ron Greiner was named the Executive Director, and became full time in March '01. Although a separate 501 (c) 3, Mission Indy continues to be supported by Chapel Rock and as well as several other churches.
In 2001, Mission Indy offered three weeks of the Summer Program, and by 2004, increased that to four weeks. In 2003, two major changes happened. First Niccole Wilkes joined MI. Second college students began to be hired to serve as Summer Interns. In addition to the Summer Program, groups also came into the city to serve with MI on selected Saturdays during the year.
Since our mission is about equipping and not simply service, more strategic training elements were added and close attetnion was paid to insure all elements of the programs pointed towards equipping.
In 2010, Matt Cutler joined Mission Indy to further increase the capacity to do things such as weekend retreats and Designed Opportunities over such time periods as Fall Break, Spring Break, and long weekends.
2013 brought about more changes with the addition of Ryan Steuer and moving our offices back to where it all began - Chapel Rock Christian Church. This positioning has helped with those partnerships on the west side of Indianapolis, outlying areas, and keeping the strong foundation of partnerships within the urban (city) context.
As time has continued on, change continues to happen as well. Ryan Steuer has moved to creating an educational organization that works with school systems for the betterment of project based learning. Niccole Wilkes has also moved to work with Youth for Christ in being a mentor of mentors. The journey for the Mission Indy staff continues to move forward.
We are thankful to God for 20 years of serving the local church and we are excited to see where the Lord takes the ministry in the future.
If you would like to see Mission Indy's story and heart via video click here.