The Table is People
The Table is a newly-forming church community in the Indianapolis area. We envision a multiplying movement of Jesus communities networked together under the common mission of encountering, embodying, and extending the reconciling love of God in Christ in neighborhoods all over Indy.
Right now we are forming the very first of these communities in Fishers, where we live. We are meeting weekly to eat together, worship and pray, and discuss the vision and practices that will guide our community.
You can come if you want! But first you might be wondering…
How We Got Here
The Table started as two families coming together to build a community.
In 2006, after a decade in ministry, Ben and Deb Sternke (along with their 4 kids) were praying about planting a church. A different kind of church. A church centered on training ordinary people to join God on mission in everyday life. A church that functioned like a spiritual family. A church committed to simple discipleship practices that formed them as a “Jesus community” over time.
It’s one thing to dream about that, but another thing entirely to actually do it, so the Sternkes began to reach out to their relational network to see if anyone was actually attempting to plant churches like this.
That’s where they met Matt and Sharon Tebbe. Matt was a co-pastor at a church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago that was attempting to live missionally and make disciples. The Sternkes visited a few times and started talking with Matt and the other pastors about planting this kind of church.
Then, in 2009, the Sternkes planted a church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, attempting to flesh out the principles of discipleship and mission they had begun to embrace. It would function as a network of mid-sized communities linked together under a common mission.
Over the next 5 years of ministry, the Sternkes and the Tebbes stayed in touch, sharing what they were learning about life, parenting, brewing beer, mission, discipleship, and leadership (and lots of other things). They found others who were able to share tools, frameworks and paradigms that helped them become more effective disciple-makers.
They began to share these insights with other leaders across the country, and began to act as ad-hoc coaches and consultants for pastors who were wanting to move their churches in a similar direction.
In 2013, after a year of discernment, both the Sternkes and the Tebbes moved their families to South Carolina to join an organization that was training leaders all over the country in simple tools that made discipleship reproducible. They spent the next year training and coaching pastors from all kinds of different denominations and backgrounds to make disciples more effectively and lead more like Jesus in their churches.
A year later, after some significant changes to the organization, the Sternkes and the Tebbes left and started innovating on the tools, creating a new coaching framework and bringing more depth to the training they were offering to leaders.
In the midst of this transition, they also had a growing sense that their training and coaching needed to be rooted in a real-life local church community, with all the mess and accountability it brings! They began to discern God calling them to plant a church together that would live out the paradigms, postures, and practices that they were training leaders in.
The Tebbes had moved back to the Indianapolis area at the end of 2014 to be closer to family while they discerned the future. As they developed relationships with people, they began to discern a call to simply stay and plant where they found themselves, rather than throw a dart at a map.
Planting in Indy also seemed good to the Sternkes (and to the Holy Spirit, we think), and they moved to Indy in the summer of 2015, after their son graduated from high school in South Carolina.
That brings us up to…
Where We Are At Now
We are beginning to gather the core community that will function as the “nucleus” of the church. This core community will carry the “Jesus DNA” we want to multiply. You can read more about this by checking out our vision and our core practices.
But the best way to understand what we’re really doing is simply join us for a gathering, or meet up for coffee.
Fill out the form below to get in touch!