Drew Stephens is just one of many pastors who attended this year’s Pastors Retreat, held October 23-27 in Germany. Retreat attendees included front-line pastors from Moscow, Budapest, Nice, Marseille, Munich and other European cities. ICC's dream for all of these churches is the same: to be flourishing, gospel-centered churches reaching internationals, in-country nationals, and immigrants.
On Monday, October 23, over thirty participants converged in Teisendorf, Germany for the 2017 ICC Pastors’ Retreat. We are praying for our pastors (and their wives, some of whom are in attendance) to be filled with refreshment, joy in God’s truth, encouragement, and renewed vision and hope.
How Dan and Nancy Painter turned their gift of hospitality into a Europe-wide network of churches
He served in Vietnam. He prayed weekly with the US ambassador to France. She translated for Billy Graham in a conversation with a French philosopher. He oversaw the departure of Soviet troops from the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution. But for Dan and Nancy Painter, the best was yet to come.
"What do you like about this church?"
I asked the question of Marco, a new believer from northern Italy. He was the first person who greeted me at Christ Church Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt, Germany...
ICC is a French association, and this General Assembly is one of the requirements to exist as an officially recognized entity in France. But, ICC France is not alone in its endeavor. It is interdependently connected with two other entities that are responsible for setting the vision and securing the resources needed to fulfill it, the Euroteam and ICC Eurasia. The interplay and interdependence of these entities are vital to the identity and effectiveness of the ICC as a movement.
Here are three surprising things I've learned as I've worked with church mission leaders over the past few years.
We believe that the gospel is not just for individual gain. We believe that Christ's sacrifice was not to ensure our personal comfort. We believe that the good news of Jesus has the power to radically change lives, change communities, change culture. We believe that "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).
Praise God for the incredible uniting and mobilizing force of the Gospel, which transcends our cultural differences to unite our efforts in the Kingdom work of offering light and life into a dark and dying world.