ARC Church Plant Stories: Matt and Carrie Dilley

When Matt and Carrie Dilley launched Tribe Church in Plainfield, Indiana, in September 2018, they did so on the same day as multiple other churches within the ARC (Association of Related Churches) community.

On launch day for ARC church plant #783, Matt remembers going home and thinking that 167 people showed up for their first day was amazing. Then, when he went home and saw online the turnout that the other ARC churches had on their launch day, he was “immediately disappointed.”

“Even though nothing had changed, the number was still the same, but I was immediately disappointed,” Matt recalls. “We all launched together on the same day that year, and ours was the smallest launch. It was the smallest launch by a lot.”

Yet, in due time, the Dilleys realized the size didn’t matter because the impact that they had then — and have been able to have since — has been monumental.

Encouraging Other ‘Small Launches’

Instead of letting the comparatively small launch hold them back, the Dilleys decided they wanted to be an encouragement to other leaders of ARC churches.

Carrie says they contacted ARC (Association of Related Churches) to find out which is the smallest launch.

“We said, ‘Hey, send us the smallest launches,’ because we want to give them a gift, not to their church specifically, but to their pastors, just as an encouragement, just like, ‘Hey, listen, we’re rooting for you from Plainfield, Indiana. We want you to see that even though maybe this didn’t look exactly like you thought it was going to, you are still doing God’s work … and God can work in small spaces as big as He can in big spaces.’”

That type of attitude permeates throughout the ARC church community and helps ARC churches throughout the world find the encouragement to spread the word of Jesus in their communities.

The Only Church of Its Kind

One of the things that the Dilleys loved the most about their Tribe Church before launch was that it was going to be the first of its kind in the region. While there were plenty of churches near them, none of them looked the way the Dilleys wanted Tribe Church to look.

The couple almost intrinsically knew that planting a church was their true calling, but they needed guidance to make it a reality. They found guidance and support in ARC (Association of Related Churches).

“I don’t think we could have had any better help to start our church,” Carrie says. “I think it was the best possible thing that we could have done was launching with ARC. The training that we had at the time, it was perfect. It was exactly what we needed because we didn’t have any idea what we were doing.”

That’s a common theme from many ARC church leaders — that they knew they were called to plant a church but didn’t have the knowledge, experience, or support of how to do it … and they found all of that and more in ARC (Association of Related Churches).

About ARC (Association of Related Churches)

ARC (Association of Related Churches) is a cooperative of independent churches from different denominations, networks, and backgrounds that strategically resource church planters and pastors to help them reach people with the message of Jesus. ARC exists to see a thriving church in every community, reaching people with the message of Jesus. Since its beginning in 2000, ARC has grown into a global organization and has helped plant more than 1,000 churches.