Global ICN has churches in six regions; Africa, Asia Pacific, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean and Northern Asia. Each region now has a ‘champion’ whose role it is to help gather international churches into the network and create connection.
In this ‘Question & Answer’ article, we feature Paul Pierquet, the champion of our Eurasia Region, and his church, International Christian Assembly in Kiev, Ukraine, where he serves as pastor.
1. Please give us some of your background in relation to how you became involved in missions and more specifically, in international church work.
My wife and I both knew at a young age that God was leading us overseas to serve Him. We just did not know the where and the what. After Bible College we served in the states for seven years in two different pastoral staff positions before going to Ukraine.
We felt God leading us into fulltime missions. We prayed and knew God wanted us in Ukraine. God had led our hearts to this former communist country and we did not know His exact purposes. We served for a year in the south of Ukraine in a city called Odessa. We really enjoyed our time there, studying language, learning culture, and working with University students. After ten months in Odessa we heard that there was a need at the International Church in the capital city of Kiev. They were considering closing the doors of the church. We felt God God calling us to revitalize this ministry.
2. How long have you been involved in international church work?
We have served as Lead Pastors of ICA Kiev for 7 years.
3. How old is your church, about how many members do you have and about how many nations are represented?
The Church was established in 1991. It has had nine pastors in the first 14 years of its existence. Any time a pastor would stay, the church would grow. During the seven years we have been there we have seen it grow from 30 people to over 400. We really believe it is because we were willing to stay. We see people from over 40 nations each weekend at ICA.
4. What do you feel makes your church special or unique when people are looking for an international church?
First, people enjoy being able to worship in a familiar language and atmosphere. ICA is a very special place. We have experienced a great deal of strength in our diversity and background. The strength occurs in the realization that though we are diverse in ethnicity, language, culture, education, or even Christian denominational experience, we are family in Christ.
5. What are your thoughts about Global ICN and how it will help you and other international churches/pastors connect?
Global ICN is a ministry that is long overdue. When I came into ICA we did not have mentors or a support system in place. We made a lot of mistakes. It would have been great to have had someone standing next to us through our new experiences. Global ICN provides a venue for resources, coaching and consulting that has not been available in the past. Since I have been involved with the pastors who participate in Global ICN, I have grown as a pastor and as a leader.
6. What are the challenges of serving in international church ministry in Kiev? In Eurasia?
There are currently struggles with facility and transition. The cost and regulation for church buildings is very high. This has caused us to rent in locations that are less than ideal for the size of church we are. We also experience about 35% turn over each year in our congregation. This has challenges, but we choose to consider it to be an asset as well. We usually have a short season to impact lives and then send them on to touch the world.
7. Do you have a favorite resource (book you are currently reading, website you visit frequently, etc.) that you’d like to share with the group?
I am continually realizing that my responsibility as a pastor is not to build this ministry, but rather to serve. God has a way of doing the rest. I am currently reading a book by Henri Nouwen, called “The Selfless Way of Christ”.