The Story of a Relationship-based Church

A case study of Harvest, a relationship-based church.

Harvest Community Christian Church
P.O. Box 33
Whitestown, IN 46075

General Information

Approximate Sunday worship attendance: 100
Approximate Small Group participation: 150
Current number of small groups: 7


Harvest began as a small group of 5 families (9 adults and 6 children) in 1999. Later, in the start-up, 6 more families made the commitment to come and form the core of approximately 35 people. The core group came from a sponsoring church: New Hope Christian Church, Whitestown, IN.

Harvest was launched and structured around a relationship-based focus rather than a program-based focus or an event-based focus. In many ways the church functioned around a cell-church model where relationships and small groups were seen as the hub and focus of ministry life. And, in fact, the church originally met in small group format until the original small group multiplied into two small groups. Shortly after, a Sunday worship began as a time of worship, teaching, celebration, and reunion of the now multiplied small groups.

The guiding mission and values of the new church included the following:

Mission Statement:

As God's children, we are the church. He has commissioned us to Make, Mature, Mobilize and Multiply disciples into His work.

Core Values:

People are the church, not the building

We will actively seek the lost

We will focus our energy at making current disciples better disciples (spiritual growth)

We will have a relationship-based focus

We encourage everyone in the Body to minister

We allow freedom to minister

We will regularly check our actions against scripture and our understanding of our calling (our values)

When the initial small group birthed and a weekend worship began, the original small group evolved into a leadership ...

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