We Must Be a Church That Multiplies
ICASA: Iglesia Casa de Dios (House of God Church)
Columbia Heights, Minnesota
“We are grateful to AGTrust for the scholarship to help our church participate in the Acts 2 Journey. I believe that today with the help of the Acts 2 Journey there are more churches committed to doing what Jesus entrusted to us—to make disciples! That too is our purpose at ICASA.”
Originally from Guatemala, Alfonso and Vilma and their 4-year-old daughter came to Minnesota in 1993 after being forced to emigrate due to the country’s political situation. They had served as social workers in tumultuous areas, helping 200 widowed mothers and 1,800 orphaned children who were products of the internal war.
“Christian families in Minnesota helped us to start a new life here,” Pastor Morales says. He and Vilma learned about God and were introduced to the Assemblies of God. While attending and serving in a few churches, they grew and developed spiritually.
ICASA church in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, is committed to making disciples.
In 2014, Alfonso and Vilma planted ICASA in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. It started as a small group Bible study and continued to grow. Today, ICASA averages 75-125 in weekly attendance with 8-10 home fellowships meeting across the city. In addition, they have opened churches in White Bear Lake and Crystal, Minnesota.
When Pastor Alfonso attended an Acts 2 Journey meeting in the Minnesota District of the Assemblies of God, he realized that the training offered reflected his desire to learn more about how ICASA could better reach and disciple people for Christ.
The mission statement for the ICASA leadership and church members is: Reconciling everyone with God for eternal life as we Go, Connect, Worship, Serve, Learn.
The Acts 2 Journey (A2J) benefited ICASA in several ways, Pastor Morales says:
- The A2J training taught us to see from the Gospels the development of Jesus’ ministry, which helped us realize we must be a church that multiplies in different cities of Minnesota.
- It helped us form a leadership team where we could grow together and form our mission statement: Reconciling everyone with God for eternal life as we Go, Connect, Worship, Serve, Learn.
- It helped us define our vision statement: to reach 10,000 souls for Christ and plant five more churches by 2025.
- It has been of great value to the church in that our members now feel a part of the mission and vision. The church was enthusiastic and wanted to implement the vision the Lord was giving us as quickly as possible, but our leadership team believed it was necessary to organize the process and make preparations to implement it.
ICASA members of all ages reach out to the community with the message of God’s love.
“We consider that what we have learned from the Acts 2 Journey has taught us more about how to be a church that contributes to the work of evangelism,” Pastor Alfonso says.
“Thank you for allowing us to enter into this process and showing us that we can achieve a better and greater impact by being an organized body with a clear mission and vision!”
Participating in the Acts 2 Journey helped the leadership and congregation at ICASA to define their vision to reach 10,000 souls for Christ and plant 5 new churches by 2025.
The year-long Acts 2 Journey effort, led by Alton Garrison, helps strengthen churches as they revisit their mission, vision and values. To date, 1,508 churches in 42 districts and 3 ethnic fellowships have taken the journey, and 1,177 of those received an AGTrust scholarship to help them participate.
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