International Christian Church of San Diego (ICCSD)
Andre and Ellen Ong
ICCSD, founded in 1999 to meet the needs of internationals and run by internationals, provides a household of grace and spiritual oasis for international residents and visitors from around the world. ICCSD’s purpose is to propose to the world through discipleship, “You are far, far greater than you can imagine when you encounter the grace of God that is found most fully in Jesus Christ.” This year they have added families to their membership and the number of children has increased. Their international student outreach continues to grow and deepen on Friday nights.
We asked Andre these questions to help describe this ministry.
What is your organization’s vision for ministry?
International Christian Church of San Diego (ICCSD) is a household of grace, spiritual
oasis and outreach ministry for international residents, students, and visitors in San
Diego. We have internationals from literally all over the world.
More specifically, at ICCSD we believe in the distinctiveness of grace or the generosity
of God as revealed in Jesus and the Bible which transforms all areas of our existence.
We have a thoroughgoing theology of grace that seeks to discover and understand the
already present common grace available to all creation and the special extravagant and
abundant grace that God desires for us to receive after our conversion. We are of the
conviction that if only everyone understood the revelation of God’s generosity for what it
really was; no one would want to resist God’s grace. Our desire at ICCSD is to reveal
God’s generous and extravagant grace to the world.
Describe the focus of your ministry – the past year’s activities and goals for the coming year.
We currently have two main groups that we focus on (and their subgroups): the
first is to our international residents that comprise ~ 75% of our ministry. While
always having an outreach/evangelistic temperament, we focused on deeper
spiritual growth for our congregants in the past year. In particular, we learned and
practiced spiritual habits that would set a foundation for long term growth. This
included work on our weekly Care Groups and larger outreach fellowships. Our
other group is the international student outreach ministry that comprise ~25% of
our ministry that take place on Fridays nights and informally during the week.
Our focus on the coming year is to continue building stability and greater
discipleship into the process.
We see two obstacles: the first is that because many of our Christians are first
generation Christians without the benefit of an inherited or historical Christian
tradition, we have to keep doing discipleship from scratch. This takes bandwidth
away from wanting to practice the deeper things of faith like a more consistent
Christian education. Somewhat related to this is the second obstacle of location.
Newer Christians from the north of San Diego consider our location as a burden.
We continue to miss opportunities for deeper growth because many unfortunately
consider location as deal-breakers. We are considering a number of options (more
home ministries in the north? Etc.).
For wisdom to be able to bring better care, welcome, equipping and discipleship to their growing families while ministering faithfully to the transient nature of their international community.
How we deal with ministry opportunities in central and north San Diego among internationals.
For ways to find a better balance between building a healthy household of faith and doing outreach with limited resources.