Jen and I visited Indianapolis this weekend.
There are some areas of Indianapolis that are absolutely booming with growth. It truly is remarkable to see that on the north side of the city, there are some counties with the highest growth rates in the nation. On the south side of the city, there is nearly as much growth as well. Jen and I have been praying about and considering the city of Indianapolis as a possible target for our church plant, so we went down there this weekend.
It was a good trip. We got to spend some time with Jen’s college roommate and her husband (they let us crash at their place!) and we also got to visit with the pastor of an MBC church plant in the area.
I was surprised by a few things on our trip:
I really liked the city of Noblesville to the northeast of Indianapolis. It had a really quaint downtown square around the courthouse, and when I bought some Chai from a local coffee shop, the people inside were really friendly. I had the chance to chat with a couple of schoolteachers in the shop there, and they completely raved about the quality of their school system.
I also liked the village of Greenwood just south of Indianapolis. That’s an area that is experiencing a good deal of growth too. I had the chance to talk with a realtor there who told me that the south side of Indy as much more “laid back” than the north side of Indianapolis. The people on the north side were a little “snobby” in comparison.
The main areas we were supposed to look at didn’t really impress me much. There was Zionsville which is an incredibly beautiful area, but the homes there are absolute monstrosities of capitalism, the small downtown seemed to be geared toward the upper echelon of society, and the demographics claim the median age is 39 which is nearly ten years beyond Jen and me. Those aren’t bad things, but the potential for us to relate effectively to the people who live there is much lower than somewhere else.
We also were planning to consider Lebanon, but on the advice of some people we talked to down there, we realized that Lebanon presently is a city that seems to be “caught in the middle.” It is the county seat, but it is still relatively rural in mindset. Though Zionsville is booming in the southeast of the county, Lebanon itself isn’t experiencing much growth yet. In a few years it might begin to have some growth, but it isn’t happening yet.
Finally, we spent just over 24 hours in Lafayette, and I was actually surprised how much resonated with me in that short amount of time. There were aspects of the city that reminded me of other places I have lived. It had aspects of Peoria, Denver, and Victorville. I honestly really liked it. It’s a completely different feel from Noblesville and Greenwood, but it might be just what we are looking for.
Jen and I are going to continue to pray about it all, but she is getting really impatient about us picking a place and moving forward with it!