Why I Believe In International Church Ministry by Jeff Hartensveld
In 1989, Jeff and Liz Hartensvelds were approved as missionaries to Indonesia and arrived on the field in September 1990. The Hartensvelds spent a year in language school to learn Bahasa Indonesian. During the remainder of their first term they lived in Malang, where they taught in the Bible school and ministered in church planting and child evangelism. During this time, Jeff also learned basic communication in Javanese.
Soon after their second term began, the family moved to Surabaya, where they planted International Christian Assembly. The church has grown to 1,200 in attendance and maintains a strong missions focus. Ministries of the church include outreaches at a garbage dump and an orphanage.
In 2012, after 23 years in Indonesia, Jeff was named director of AGWM Mobilization and is responsible for assisting missionaries in raising their budgets and helping them reach the fields of their calling. He also works in partnership with district missions leaders to help missionaries communicate their vision to local churches that will support them in prayer and finances.
Why I Believe In International Church Ministry
By Jeff Hartensveld
May 26, 2015
Planted his first international church in Indonesia which grew to more than 1100 and is thriving today at 1300. We began to sense a change coming and received a word that God was going to move us to a very difficult place. I said, ‘Lord we’re happy here but if you want to move me, you let me know what you want.’ Two weeks later Greg Mundis called and asked to talk. He wanted me to come back to the US and mobilize the American church about missions.
I’ve been holding pastors round tables in the USA and some of the sentiment I heard about the tables – pastors say to them ‘why should we have missionaries doing international church ministry? Shouldn’t they be doing real missions work?’ I sit on the executive board of AGWM and want you to know that we believe in international church ministry.
Why I believe in international church ministry.
God’s delivery system is the local church.
Completion of the great commission is going to come through the local church. If we can put the church in places all over the world, it will be the delivery system of bringing the gospel to those people. I believe IC’s put you standing shoulder to shoulder in your host country and all that goes with it.
If we have more people involved in the local church we create this amazing example of more people seeing us.
God’s design is a blending of cultures.
Use the scriptural example in Revelation of people from every nation and tribe worshiping in their own languages. As we blend people and culturesin our IC’s, that’s God’s design for all of us as human beings. IC’s are a thing to come. We’re seeing these churches on the coasts of our cities. I believe it’s a prophetic foretelling of what is to come and God is preparing for the future.
God’s desire is to indigenize and influence.
Self-supporting, self-propagating and self-governing. As an IC church pastor I had access to resources I normally wouldn’t have. IC churches attract people of influence from business world, expats, government.
What makes an international church grow?
A clear and operable vision, mission and values.
If your vision statement is ‘to reach the people of the city’ you’ll never get there. We made our vision statement numerical. ‘What do you see out into the future?’ Vision is what you see. Mission is what you do. Probably more important than anything we did were the values we established. Values are who you are as a church and determine the direction of every decision you make.
Our four core values at ICA:
1) Spiritual journey
2) Trusting relationships
3) The lost
Clear church governance
When we introduced membership, constitution and by-laws, we
broke 200. I learned that the less I did the more the church grew.
Created buy-in from the church once we set things in place for people to vote and be involved in decisions.
Clear pastoral mandate.
IC church pastoring can’t be a hobby. You have to pastor the people.
Clear missional strategy
As you give and participate, your church will grow.
A clear outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church.