Europe is a fast changing continent. On the one hand, traditional church attendance is under pressure, especially in Western Europe. On the other hand, the demography of the European population is getting increasingly diverse. In the Netherlands, over 25% of the population now has a different cultural background. Many of the new Europeans are Christians, or would like to become so. In the Netherlands alone, over 1,000 Iranians and Afghans have been baptized in the past 5 years. It is the mission of Intercultural Church Plants Europe to (help) plant new Christian, intercultural communities throughout Europe. This already is happening a lot in the Netherlands, England, and Italy. ICP Europe is assisting new churches and church-planters in starting new communities by providing expertise, a network, training, support, mentorship, conferences, and a digital platform.
It is our vision to witness 1,000 new intercultural Christian communities by 2035. Theo Visser, the leader of the organization, has over 25 years of experience in planting new intercultural churches. For instance, he started ICF in Rotterdam and he also founded ICP the Netherlands, which by now has 50 churches in its Network.
‘Nowhere I saw the love of Christ coming that close; I feel at home in this new and warm community ‘ – Iranian refugee
Project-1 ADVANCE! Trainings Program
This is the time to expand the European network widely. All over Europe there is a great need for small, loving communities; places where people really meet, read the Bible together and discover who Jesus is. ICP Europe does not aim for size, but for the small, the personal, the local. That is where we want to be present: the gospel in action. Through the ADVANCE! Training Program, we help pioneers start a church or missional community step by step where discipleship is central. The video below clearly explains the ADVANCE approach!
In intercultural church plants we have a strong focus on powerful worship. Songs2Serve is a team within the ICP Europe foundation dedicated entirely to implementing intercultural worship music and training (intercultural) worship teams. Songs2Serve has an extensive database of freely available intercultural songs that are already being used all over the world. This unique service of ICP Europe helps our church planters tremendously to attract and connect all kinds of ethnic groups. By 2023, we plan to greatly expand our database with new intercultural songs. We have a great team of ethnic musicians who translate songs into other languages so they can be used in intercultural worship services.
For each ADVANCE! training we ask for a contribution of $815 per person. By no means everyone with a vision for intercultural church planting can afford this training themselves. Therefore, ICP Europe has asked MissionInvest to help with fundraising for this project. This requires $43,000. With this we can pay for most of the ADVANCE training.
An amount of $23,000 is also needed for the 2nd project, Songs2Serve. This money will enable ICP Europe to pay for the following: translation work of the songs and multiple languages, making instructional videos, providing usable recordings and sheet music for instrumentalists. etc.
MissionInvest sees it as an important task that precisely as Christians in the Netherlands we should offer a helping hand to young believing Christians from other cultures (who often have a traumatic past). A warm welcome means infinitely much to them. From personal experience we also know how enriching these contacts are!
So through this project, you can help build on ICP Europe’s vision to help start 1,000 new intercultural house churches in Europe. What is special about this project is that your donation will even be turned into music as well! What a blessing it will be for so many people all over Europe, the impact of which we even see worldwide.