Using Hospitality to Draw People to Jesus in Indianapolis

From her first visit to Indianapolis in 2008, Amy Rager felt God drawing her heart to the city. But she and her pastor-husband, Barry, were serving an established church in a rural setting in Owensboro, Kentucky, and could not imagine leaving their church for big-city life. Through much prayer and wise counsel, they surrendered to God’s call and relocated their family of 6 to Indy in 2013. Since then, they have established New Circle Church, an inner-city Southern Baptist church plant.

Amy Rager described her work in Indianapolis this way: “Since moving to Indianapolis, I have taken on a plethora of tasks in our new church, but the ones I have found to be the most fulfilling—and perhaps the most effective—have been hospitality and discipleship. People know they are welcomed by the Ragers—physically welcome in our home and also welcome in whatever spiritual state they are in. Our home has become a refuge to my neighbors, to our church family, and to missions teams. People in crisis have slept on our couch, people who are hurting have sat around our dinner table, and those with the potential for leadership have gathered around our fire pit. If I had to sum up my church-planting activity thus far, it would be using hospitality and discipleship hand in hand to nudge people nearer to Christ.”

She currently disciples 5 women and leads a women’s Bible study. She encourages women to disciple and invest in the women around them, using the tools of hospitality and discipleship to reach their cities and neighborhoods with the gospel. “We’re a team no matter our geographical location,” she said.

She requested prayer “for a movement of the Spirit in downtown Indianapolis, for sustained energy and focus, for opportunities for rest, and for the empowerment of the leadership within [the] church.”

The Ragers welcome short-term missions teams. To learn more about their church and their work in Indianapolis, visit

Beth Holmes is a wife and mom who writes from Owensboro, Kentucky.

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