OK, so to understand the vision of the church, I have to tell you a story…stay with me for moment, will you? 😉
About 2000 years ago, a man named Stephen was killed for his faith in Jesus Christ in the city of Jerusalem. At that time, there were thousands of people in the first church in Jerusalem but they were persecuted for their faith, making them run for their lives into various parts of the world.
One of the places that some of the people went was to a city about 700km away to the north called Antioch, which is now located in southern Turkey near Syria.
When they arrived there, they began to share the Gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ. Initially the Jews only shared with other Jews, but then some non-Jewish people (called Gentiles) began to share with other Gentiles and the Antioch church was born!
After a year or two of its existence, the Antioch church sent out two men named Paul and Barnabas to share the Gospel in other parts of the world. They did this primarily in what is now central Turkey, eastern Europe, Greece, and southwestern Turkey, making disciples of Jesus and planting churches everywhere that they went. In fact, they were so effective that Paul later wrote to a church that was started in Rome that there was no place left that he could continue to work in these areas!
A network of churches
This is our vision as well. Chiesa Antiochia is not just one church. Our desire is to be a church of churches. We want to create a network of churches. When we say a “network” of churches, we don’t mean that we want to go to other churches and ask them to work with us. Instead, we mean that we want our church to start new churches.
The first church for Chiesa Antiochia will start in the center of Catania, on the island of Sicily in Italy. And from there, if there is an area or a city that doesn’t have a church, we will pray that God will use us to start a church in that place. If there is an area or a city that doesn’t have enough churches, we will pray that God will use us to start another church in that place.
For all people
We want Chiesa Antiochia to not only be for Italians but for all people. In the same way that the original church reached both the Jews and the Gentiles, we want Chiesa Antiochia to reach Italians, Africans, Asians, Americans, Middle Easterners, and other Europeans. We want the church today to look like the Body of Christ of the future, so we will not only try to reach people from different locations, but we will work to build leaders from these different locations so that they can reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ and make disciples of Jesus from their own nations and their own language!
For every nation
But we are not restricted to Italy. Our desire is that the church will send workers to other parts of the world to start churches in those places as well. There are many parts of the world that have not heard the Gospel, especially in countries very near to where we are located, so we want to send the people who are part of Chiesa Antiochia into these parts of the world to tell others and start new churches there as well!
We believe that God wants to use each of us, so our vision is to equip you to fulfill the purpose for which he has made you. Come be part of Chiesa Antiochia together with us and we will learn and grow and go to serve God – together!
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