Core Values & Beliefs
Major Obstacles To Overcome:
The following obstacles must be overcome for our 2020 Vision to become reality:
Lack of Trained Disciples
Over the last 10 years, training has not been emphasized. Consequently, we have lost a generation of disciples trained for ministry. Brothers and sisters who are eager and available to take on new challenges are few and far between.
Geography & the High Cost of Air-Travel
We live on islands and our churches are separated from each other by the Caribbean Sea. There are no roads or rails to connect us. Inter-island ferries are sparse. Airfare within the Caribbean averages $550 USD per person round trip.
Substantially Lower Incomes
Our weekly offerings are smaller and our church budgets are tighter. This limits our opportunities to fellowship and train.
4 Major Languages Spoken (Spanish, English, French, Dutch)
Work being hindered because of language barriers is as old as Genesis 11. With 4 major languages spoken in the Caribbean, the problem is still alive and creates a
challenge in unifying the region for the greater good.
13 nations and 17 territories call our warm Caribbean islands 'home'. By the hand of God, there are currently 34 ICOC churches in 13 Caribbean nations with a total of over 3,200 disciples.
However, with a total Caribbean population of over 40 million souls, there is much work yet to be done! Our vision is God's vision...to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) and "Reach Every Beach" with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Specifically, by the end of 2020 our vision is for God to use us to plant a church in the nations of Antigua & Barbuda, Guadeloupe, and Dominica!
The Caribbean Region Leadership Team
Priorities & Strategy
#1. Ongoing Training of Current Leadership
This is our most pressing need. The vast majority of our churches are led by dedicated couples who also work in secular professions. These couples are in need of greater ministry training and support to face the
challenges within their local congregations while raising up new leadership and continuing to grow numerically. Most training takes place in online
conversations via Skype. However, we believe this training is best provided when it is face-to-face in a
relationship with a trained Evangelist and Women's Ministry Leader. Therefore, personal visits to each other’s churches and attendance at Caribbean Regional Meetings will be essential. Participation in the newly formed Jean-Baptiste Caribbean School of Missions will also accelerate the training process. Stronger churches will be a natural result of stronger, trained leadership.
#2. Strengthen Existing Churches
Each of our current churches has the potential to make substantial contributions toward the evangelization of the Caribbean. Whether it be planting churches on
islands of the same language, financially supporting mission work, or sending trained leadership to help plant new work -- every Caribbean church has a role to
play. It is for this reason that each church must be healthy and strong. To accomplish this, spiritually mature Christians are needed to visit and encourage
the churches, hold marriage/parenting workshops, speak at retreats, etc.
#3. Raise Up Future Leadership
Presently, our leadership ‘bench’ is shallow. Few are able to step into leadership positions. In order to successfully evangelize the Caribbean we need many more who are ‘waiting in the wings’ for the call to go anywhere, and do anything for Jesus. These future leaders will primarily be found on our campuses, but there is also significant leadership potential in our Singles and Married Ministries. Healthy churches will provide fertile ground for these future leaders to grow and mature.
#4. Plant New Churches
Finally, there are still 13 Caribbean nations/territories in which no ICOC church exists. These are the ‘beaches’ that are yet to be reached!