By Meredith Denton, Intensive Project Manager
The International Intensive is a four-week training program designed to prepare urban church planters by exposing them to urban church planting concepts, theological resources to grow churches, leadership modules, and other church planting principles. On top of the training, and just as crucial, strong relationships are built during the Intensive. The relationships formed over these four weeks become strong sources of support and accountability for these families, and deep friendships are made that last for years.
On October 15 Redeemer City to City welcomed 23 church planters and trainers to this year’s International Intensive in New York City. Of these 23 planters, eight were able to bring their spouses, and two couples brought their children. Church planting couples that attend training together have the clearest vision as they enter ministry. What a delight to see these families together, to get to know their kids, and to watch these couples be encouraged and strengthened by this training.
The twenty cities represented in this year’s class are: Accra, Al Ain, Athens, Barcelona, Christchurch, Dublin, Istanbul, Krakow, Madrid, Melbourne, Nairobi, Paris, Pretoria, San Jose, Santiago, Stockholm, Svitlovodsk, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Warsaw.
For the first time we had global trainers participate in the International Intensive. These seven trainers received additional teaching on gospel-based training concepts. Three new sessions were added this year: a session on Public Faith, a Church Planting Experience Panel given by New York City pastors, and a three-day Parakaleo training conference. Parakaleo provides specific support and training to church planter wives. Jessica Tam from Sydney said, “Parakaleo--Oh my, where do I start? The sessions were so insightful, full of depth, and really helped to expound what it means to [seek to] live gospel-centered lives—in thought, action, and in our hearts.”
This past month has been full of learning, fellowship, and encouragement for the church planters, global trainers, and CTC staff. Shebu John, church planter from Melbourne said, “The intensive was a deep, rich time to reorient my heart to the gospel, stir my affections for the Kingdom, and give me a glimpse into Christ’s heart for the nations.” What a privilege to see what God is doing in New York City and around the world through His people. As the members of the International Intensive Class of 2016 return to their cities, please pray that the knowledge gained and friendships made during these past four weeks will encourage them as they seek to build gospel movements in cities through new churches.