Welcome to Refocharismissional.ie

Thanks for visiting!

You’re probably wondering, ‘who are these guys?’ and ‘what are they about?’ Well in this post we’ll hopefully answer your questions.

We are a collaboration of church leaders who believe that Ireland needs churches that are reformed, charismatic and missional. Or refocharismissional for short.

We’re not saying we have all the answers. But we are confident that great potency is unleashed when churches embrace the convergence of historically-rooted reformed theology, vibrant charismatic spirituality and faith-filled missional momentum.

Reformed, Charismatic, Missional

Our view is rooted in the rock-solid conviction that the refocharismissional perspective best represents the teaching of the Bible for how local churches are supposed to function. You may disagree with our assessment, and that’s ok.

We’re not here to argue or convert you to our position. The point with this project is to articulate a compelling vision of what refocharismissional churches can be and do across Ireland by the grace of God and for his glory.

So it’s a vision we are hugely excited by and we want to share it with the world (or at least our little corner of the world). Consequently we hope that you will be grasped by the same vision as you engage with this online community.

Unity Between the Churches

Furthermore we want to unite two seemingly disparate positions – the reformed and charismatic frameworks. Traditionally they have been understood as mutually exclusive. In other words you’re either one or the other. But we don’t think that conclusion is correct.

For instance, too often we rail against the old straw man figure, the worst-case-scenario from the opposing camp. We take the worst example from the opposition and take it to represent the whole. So we say, ‘if that’s what it means to be reformed, forget it.’ Or, ‘if he’s a charismatic, they must all be bonkers.’ Of course we don’t usually articulate this openly but these can be our inner thoughts.

A Powerful Convergence

First, to be Refocharismissional is to hold that the Holy Spirit is still at work today as he was in the New Testament church. Thus we embrace all the gifts of the Spirit that we see in the Bible. Secondly, we hold the reformed doctrines of grace and the sovereignty of God in salvation. That is to say we believe the local church is to be reformed and charismatic. It is to participate in the Spirit and the sacrament.

Thirdly, this potent combination of reformed theology and charismatic spirituality results in a missional practice. In other words, the fuel of reformed theology and the fire of charismatic anointing drives the engine of church mission.

What is that mission? Understood broadly it is to glorify God through making disciples of Jesus. These disciples declare and demonstrate the beauty of the King and his kingdom to the watching world .

Ireland Needs Missional Churches

Why is all this important? Because Ireland needs more and better churches. Approximately 1.5% of the population of the Republic of Ireland are evangelical Christians.1 This is the lowest rate in any English-speaking country in the world. Northern Ireland fares slightly better. However recent studies predict up to one third of the Northern Irish population will be ‘non-religious’ by 2041.2 The need is great. The harvest is plentiful.

So to conclude, we believe Ireland – North and South – needs more healthy, vibrant, robust, Spirit-filled churches. Churches that are willing to humbly lay it all down to serve the mission of Christ.

Therefore at Refocharismissional we want to do all we can to cheer on the church in Ireland. We plan to grow an online hub that unites and strengthens fellow refocharismissional churches and leaders. And if you’re unsure about the whole refocharismissional thing, we’re just glad you’re looking in. Maybe you’ll become increasingly convinced that we might just be on to something.

So welcome aboard! Join the gang. Watch out for fresh content each week.

Spread the word.

Grace and peace.

1. Operation World, 2020. http://www.operationworld.org/country/irel/owtext.html

2. McCartney, M. and Glass, D. The decline of religious belief in post World War II Northern Ireland, 2015. http://scm.ulster.ac.uk/explainingaway/nontechreport.pdf

David Varney

David is a bivocational pastor at Foundation Church Belfast. He's also a medical doctor. He's married to Marion and they have one daughter called Eliza.

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