Back in 1974 (when Ichthus began) Roger Forster, an itinerant Bible Teacher and Evangelist, became deeply concerned about the lack of spiritual life in London at that time. Roger and his wife, Faith, had already opened their home on the edge of London, to people in need of practical, emotional or spiritual help, but when they moved further into London, they became to be convinced that churches needed a new vision to reach out to the unchurched. They gathered round themselves a small group of people who shared their vision and offered themselves to various churches to join them and implement the vision.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, no church felt able to take up their offer, so Roger and Faith took a month to hold the matter before the Lord. The Lord’s response was to give them a commission to plant a new church, with a strong evangelistic heart – and so Ichthus was born.
Roger was already in good relationship with the local leaders of other denominational churches and he shared God’s leading with them. They all warmly gave their blessing to the new church plant. Whether they believed it would succeed or not, to have their blessing and goodwill was important to Roger and Faith. From that first group of about 18 people, Ichthus has grown into a movement that not only continues to share the love of God with Londoners and the UK generally, but also with other nations across the world.
How: Mission, Methods, Structure and Strategy
We were called to establish Ichthus in London as our base, with multiple congregations forming one London church. From here we radiate out to Link churches across the nation who are not structurally part of us, but who share our theology and values.
Underlying everything we do is Prayer and Fasting – Click here for more information
A) Our Strategy
We are a 3C church – Cell, Congregation and Celebrations.
Cell groups are home groups, to promote relationship and express pastoral care.
Congregations are an expression of Ichthus in a town or district, which function as a church in their area, but are closely involved with the central heart of Ichthus, and share in our charitable status and financial structures. Most of our congregation leaders have trained within Ichthus in addition to other qualifications they hold.
Celebrations are held monthly or bi-monthly to express our common life (all congregations engage in them) and are an opportunity to share Spirit-filled preaching and prayer ministry (Proclamation and Power).
B) Our Mission
• To evangelise our neighbourhoods and other less-evangelised areas in London and elsewhere
• To serve the poor
• To establish praying, worshipping congregations
• To nurture believers to maturity in Christ
• To train and commission prayerful, Spirit-filled leaders to fulfil their God-given ministry of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher
C) Our Methods
• Prayer and Prayer Walking
• Open-air evangelism
• Community involvement and Jesus Action
• Alpha Groups for enquirers
• Start-Rite groups or one-to-one for discipling new believers
• Baptism as part of Start-Rite or for those already discipled
• Reaching out to families and children, with children’s clubs, Family Fun Days and other ministries to help strengthen families.
We can sum up our methods by quoting our five characteristics, which are our Witness to the World:
Worship – Openness to the Holy Spirit
Warfare – Prayer and Deliverance from the evil one
Word – Biblical Theology
Works – Acts of Compassion
Wonders – Healings and Transformations
D) Our Heart
To bring together God’s people and new enquirers into loving, relational, Spirit-filled congregations of people relating to the overall vision and structures of Ichthus.