The Indianapolis Mission
If you would like to stay up to date with our family, the church plant, and our prayer requests, please sign up for our newsletter here.
More information about the Indianapolis Mission can be found in our information document here.
If you would like to partner with us financially, our MNA donor account can be accessed here. There is more information about partnering with us below.
Ben and Neva have been married since 2013. Ben received his B.S. in Computer Science from James Madison University (2009) and his Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary, D.C. (2017). He has been serving in ministry since 2012 in a variety of contexts, including Mclean Bible Church and Sojourn Fairfax (Acts 29). He joined the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in 2017 and has been pastoring at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church since then. Ben was recently featured as a special guest in two episodes of The Oprah Conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Isabel Wilkerson.
Neva received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from UC San Diego(2009) and M.S. Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University (2015). She has been working in a variety of roles since 2009, including engineering project management and data science.
Through their ministry together, Ben and Neva have developed a heart for hospitality, evangelism, and tangible expressions of mercy. As adult converts to Christianity, they recognize the transformative impact of the gospel and truly believe that the grace of Jesus Christ changes everything. Their desire is to make their home a safe place for the weary, hurting, abused, and skeptic to find healing and answers in Christ. Their shared hope is to help plant a church that has a corporate expression of ministry with similar values and concerns.
Ben and Neva are proud parents to Felix (born 2018) and Kaius (born 2020). When they have “free” time, you’ll probably catch them exploring the city, either at a park or eating at a new food joint they found on Instagram. Their 11-year-old black lab, Beau, often feels left out but is not forgotten.More Information coming soon!
Our Sending Church
Ben will formally begin his church planting residency at Redeemer Presbyterian in Indianapolis on June 1, 2021. As their host and sending church, Ben and Neva will be a part of Redeemer’s beautiful story that God has been writing in Indy for over two decades. Their ministry DNA and values will be a big part of the future church that is planted at the end of this residency in 2023.
When Redeemer began in 1998, it drew its congregation primarily from the surrounding urban neighborhoods. And so, the early founders of Redeemer placed a large emphasis on their Urban Calling. This has developed as a part of Redeemer’s identity, and as they have expanded to have attendees coming from all over Indianapolis, they have grown in their understanding of what it means to live out the Gospel where they are. Redeemer believes their calling is to bring everything we are (our intellect, organization, creativity, spreadsheets, songs, education, mechanical ability, tender spirit) into every situation and look to the Lord for what he wants us to bring there. That means our work, school, home, studio, dog walk route, apartment complex, and bus commute all need our full attentiveness as to how we can be ambassadors of a heavenly kingdom here on earth.
From their historic multi-use facility (including 30 artist, the Harrison Center, ArtMix), to their members’ involvement in our city’s schools, cultural institutions, and neighborhood development, Redeemer is a community in the city for the city. They truly love Indianapolis and want to serve the city in which they live. Their heart is to equip and release their members to seek the common good of our city and to see new communities of grace planted in neighborhoods all over Indianapolis.
Redeemer’s stated mission is, “Connecting people to Jesus who is bringing wholeness to the city.” Ben and Neva are excited to be a part of this mission, first through this residency, and then through a new church plant.
Have you ever seen one of those viral videos from a popular audition show, such as American Idol? The videos almost always begin with someone who we might not expect much from. However, once they begin to sing, we are blown away by their hidden talents. When they tell us about themselves, we are amazed by their unique story, the challenges they’ve faced, and the opportunity they’ve been given.
The city of Indianapolis is a little bit like one of these contestants. Upon first hearing the name “Indianapolis,” many people quickly dismiss this city as just another Midwest city. However, if you pause to let Indy tell its story, you will be blown away by its beauty and soul – just as we have.
Consider, for example, Indy’s many historic neighborhoods that make up the city. Most homes in these neighborhoods have large porches in front, which have given way to a city-wide movement of “porching,” where neighbors gather and hang out regularly.
Organizations like The Harrison Center, an art center in downtown Indy, are working to make the city a beautiful and artistic place. Their many initiatives, such as The Greatriarchs, are helping preserve the city’s history through art and story.
Indy is also home to a wonderful zoo, museums, and a Children’s Center; all help make the city a great place for families. As the city with the most war memorials after Washington D.C., Indy has many landmarks and sprawling parks that capture both state and national history.
However, like any other city, it has its many challenges. Many of Indy’s neighborhoods remain heavily separated by race and socio-economic class, leaving several of these neighborhoods in poverty. The ongoing phenomenon of gentrification only adds to these challenges, favoring the “haves” and further oppressing the “have nots.”
With less than 50% of the city identifying as religious in any way, there is a desperate need for more churches to be planted to reach this city. This is our desire – to plant a church that will make God’s Kingdom known through the preaching of the gospel as well as through tangible works of mercy and justice in Indianapolis.
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
– Psalm 105:1
As planters being sent from Redeemer Presbyterian Church, much of our “ministry DNA” will reflect the current core values and ministry philosophy of Redeemer. Our aspiration is for this church plant to be a reflection of Redeemer Church, while also reflecting some of our own core values and commitments for ministry expression. While we have not yet begun to articulate what the core values or ministry philosophy for this future church will be (this is one of the goals of the residency), here are some of our own values that make up our core convictions.
- A Commitment to Christ-Centered Ministry and the Reformed Tradition
- Expressive Worship
- Accessible Community and Ministry
- Encouragement and Use of Gifts
- Unity in Diversity
- Generous Hospitality
- Safe Community
- Thoughtful and Respectful Evangelism
- Cultural Engagement and Love for the City
More information about these values can be found in our Indianapolis Mission document.
Partnering With Us
For all our strategizing and preparation, this residency and mission cannot succeed without the Spirit of God driving our efforts. We have felt the Lord’s leading in many ways, primarily through your prayers and encouragements in this journey so far. We continue to seek prayer partners who will commit to praying regularly for this new work – either for a season, or indefinitely. If you would be willing to make such a commitment, we would be honored by your support.
In addition, we are seeking financial partners who will join us in God’s Kingdom work in Indianapolis. For this 2-year residency, Redeemer Presbyterian Church has generously agreed to pay 60% of Ben’s compensation. We are responsible for raising 40% of our compensation, which for two years amounts to a goal of $100,000.
We are very grateful for the support we have already received to meet this goal. Shady Grove Presbyterian Church, where we previously attended and served, has sent us with $30,000 toward our goal. In addition, an anonymous donor has contributed $25,000 to help us meet our goals. Along with some other gifts we have received, we are beginning our fundraising efforts at 60% of our goal.
Your support can be in any amount or duration. We are seeking 2-year pledges with monthly commitments, but we are also seeking one-time gifts. All funds being raised for this residency will come through the PCA agency known as Mission to North America (MNA). Our oversight for the use of these funds will be provided by the elders of Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
If we exceed our goal of $100,000, any excess funds will be used for the purpose of the church plant. In addition to the general expenses of this future church, excess funds might also go toward additional training and partnerships for Ben and Neva (such as with GRACE or the Institute for Cross-Cultural Mission) as well as help provide funding for our future Assistant Pastor whom we hope to hire prior to planting this church.
If you have any questions, including partnership inquiries, please contact Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.