The immigrant population here in the U.S. is growing and our neighborhoods are changing. The world is increasingly at our doorstep, and our churches have an opportunity to respond. A Church In a Church (CIC) is a practical response. It is an intentional step to help start a church for non-English speakers within an existing EFCA church.
When planting a Hispanic or other ethnic immigrant church, often a choice must be made between hiring a pastor or renting a building due to a lack of funds. In addition, you must decide what language the service should be in. The first generation speaks the language of origin, but their children become bilingual and often prefer English. This model can bridge the generation gap and provide for families to go to church together. The first generation goes to the Spanish service, and second and third generations can choose English or Spanish.
The CIC model offers a separate Spanish (or other non-English) worship service at the same time and as part of your regular Sunday offerings, but is considered an integral part of the existing EFCA church. The CIC is aligned with the host church in values, doctrine and mission, and the CIC pastor sits on the pastoral leadership team. It is one church ministering in two languages to reach multiple cultures and generations.
The CIC model brings mutual blessing to the two congregations. It also benefits the host church in many ways:
- It extends the mission of the church.
- It brings cultural awareness.
- It brings health to the host because the congregation sees growth and multiplication.
- It gives the host an opportunity to train new people who are hungry to learn.
To learn more about how to start a CIC in your church, contact:
Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Mandes
director, Hispanic Ministries
(800) 745-2202 toll free
(612) 296-5232 direct