The church has moved to several different locations but through it all it has retained its passion for being a ‘Church of all Nations’
By Kelsey Bourque
On Calle Ancora Nº 23 lies one of Madrid’s most welcoming international churches. Rich in diversity, the congregation consists of over 40 nationalities and a wide range of denominations. From Catholics to Evangelical Christians and many others in between, the International Church of Madrid embraces people from all religious backgrounds. Their goal is to create a cohesive and multi-cultural atmosphere where locals and transients who are in Madrid for a short period of time can find a sense of belonging.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Tristan, the enthusiastic youth pastor for the international church (IC: Madrid). Originally from Redmond, Oregon, Tristan and his wife Jacqueline moved to Spain in 2014 to answer the call of God and serve the people of Madrid. Founded about 15 years ago, the church has been located in several different placess but for roughly a year now it is on Calle Ancora. The adjustment in locations has resulted in an increase in the congregation, almost tripling the size in the first seven months of relocation. And although they’ve made some alterations in their current location, they have retained their vivacity and passion for being a “Church of all Nations”.
A relatively young establishment, IC: Madrid advertises special events on their website and other social media outlets. Every several months, they hold worship nights on Fridays, where community members attend a concert within the context of a specific theme.
IC: Madrid has many different ministries, in order to cater to the wide demographic of worshipers. They have a Spanish group, youth group, outreach program, as well as a women’s group whose goal is to empower female members of the congregation. The majority of the members speak Spanish and English but, just the same, every service’s message is translated.
“With a community comprised of such different backgrounds, we want to make sure when someone is speaking, everyone can understand. This is a place where everyone can work on their English or Spanish at the same time,” says Tristan.
Those aspiring to speak English and/or Spanish, take note!
One major challenge the church has overcome is the fluidity of the congregation. A large part of the population in the area are young adults and students and so many members of the congregation are only here for a short period of time. Cognizant of the fact, IC: Madrid finds many ways to integrate everyone. “We love meeting new people, learning where they come from, what they’re going through, and seeing them empowered, with a clear vision of what God has called them to do, when it’s time for them to leave,” explains Tristan.
After services, food and beverages are served, which is a great way of giving the churchgoers the chance to come together and get to know each other.
From the moment one enters this international church, one is blessed with feelings of serenity and of being utterly welcome. With guidance from the Holy Spirit, the experience of dynamic worship lends itself to multi-faceted inter-cultural relationships.
Diverse, spirit-led, and community-oriented, International Church: Madrid truly is the perfect sanctuary for both tourists and locals.
Service: Every Sunday 12 noon and 5 p.m.
Images: K. Bourque and IC:Madrid’s Facebook page