This report was prepared for the ICC annual meeting February 17th 2017
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.
On the Euroteam sit leaders/pastors from the French, European and American entities. ICC Eurasia is based in the USA as an officially registered nonprofit. The ICC-E manages legal, financial and official requirements for the group and its US activities while also providing a flow of mission funds and personnel to locations in Europe. It is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of men and women committed to the vision of ICC. An important note to add here concerns the transition of ICC-E leadership from Dan Painter to James Arnold effective as of January 1, 2017. We express our deep thanks to Dan for his vision and service to the ICC-E as president since 2007. We also thank James for his commitment to serve and lead the movement forward and commend him with our prayers.
Over the last year the Euroteam met eight times, be it in person (1x) or via Skype calls (7x). In these meetings the team evaluated current realities, identified resources, fine-tuned our vision and followed through on key action steps. The ICC’s vision is to see gospel-centered, radiating, flourishing churches in the principal cities of Europe and Eurasia. The target groups in those cities are internationals, in-country citizens and immigrants. The keys action steps set for the near and longer term include a Europe wide assessment to define the terrain, networking, care, coaching and church planting. Added to these are the ICC’s regular prayer and pastors’ retreats which continue to inspire its vision and fuel its momentum.
In March, ICC Days of Prayer took place near in Peillonnex, France in the lovely home/mini-retreat center of Sam and Michelle Fiore. Sam pastors the Evangelical Baptist Church of Geneva (EBCG). Some of the key highlights of our time were hearing Sam and Michelle’s vision for the city and spending a full day prayer walking as we discovered its key reformation sites and asked God for renewed gospel impact.
In October the annual Pastor’s retreat included families and was hosted by the Serve and Denton Bible teams. It took place in Courmettes, near Nice, France. It was the best attended event to date. Our main guest speaker was Dr. Mark Young, president of Denver Seminary. Other notable sessions were lead by Ross Wilson and Dave Bochman. The feedback on this retreat was very positive and has also resulted in new affiliations. Through this retreat the network has gained in recognition, has grown and is experiencing greater momentum in achieving its goals. Our next retreat is scheduled in Teisendorf, Germany from Oct 23-27th 2017 and is open to pastors. Our main speaker will be Glen Scrivener.
Since the retreat the ICC was pleased to add two new affiliates, namely, Philip Jenkins from the Athens International church in Greece and Ross Macdonald of the Westlake church of Nyon, Switzerland. We are thankful for their presence in the network and to be of mutual encouragement. ICC is also thankful for its continued partnership with AFM. The last filming project which took place in October in Cyprus is in the final phase of post-production. Let’s join AFM in asking the Lord to use this program to encourage believers in the strategic areas where it will be broadcast. A word here as well about the ICC’s web page which received a new look and better functionality last year (http://icceurasia.com/) and has since added a blog page. We extend our thanks to Katie Pollard whose skills have made this site a vital tool.
I close out this report with a call to prayer. Pray for our member churches and for leadership transitions that are coming to some of them in the year ahead. Pray for our vision of seeing gospel-centered, radiating, flourishing churches in 100 cities of Europe and Eurasia. Pray for Euroteam as they attend to key action steps. And finally pray for God’s favor to make significant impact for the gospel through International Churches. As noted in my report last year, the news of the movement of refugees to the cities of Europe continues, and with it the validation of the strategic nature of our endeavor, be it in France, Europe or beyond.