2016 Year End Report
“Bellissimo!" That, in a word, sums up 2016. First and foremost because of the gospel of Jesus Christ which has been our anchor, goal, foundation, teacher, guide, inspiration and hope. And not only for us as church-planters but also increasingly for the people that we are serving and leading. Its a massive paradigm shift - focusing on the Story which changes all, rather than our own failing efforts and trustworthiness. From 'bella figura' (image is everything) to 'vivere davvero' (truly living). Increasingly we are witnessing individuals who are beginning to get it and who can gloriously rest in the blessed assurance of His love and acceptance and therefore live every day with every ounce of energy and passion for His glory. Certainly we're still on a journey but, praise God, we are moving in the right direction!
CHURCHES AND CHURCH-PLANTS
Impatto is currently made up of 7 churches and 11 church-planters. Several more candidates are going through the assessment and others are about to begin.
Highlights from the churches:
Chiesa TRE, Trieste (http://www.vsxt.it/): an ongoing process of envisioning and empowering the church community to be missional and gospel-centred; exciting developments and first steps at Sistiana (east of the City) towards a plant; encouraging growth in the church-groups with new friendships being made; exploring more creative ideas to establish contact with the city.
Chiesa Serenissima, Fontanafredda (http://sbible.smgroup.info/): Lots! From miraculous conversions, growth and inroads into the Italian Mormon community, to first steps in refugee ministry, leadership/planter training, steps in plants at Conegliano and Azzano. Encouraging growth in depth and in number!
Incontro con Gesù, Genova (http://www.manidelmaestro.it/incontro-con-gesu/): a courageous step of faith in the development of a centre for holistic involvement in a needy section of the city (Bolzaneto); new contacts, discipleship, changed hearts and love amidst messiness and complex situations.
Chiesa La Rocca, Imola (http://www.chiesalarocca.com/): a church community with a high number of friends 'on the way', yet still not committed; multiple opportunities in the city (Josh plays in a local community band, English classes with the reading of the New Testament, many contacts, strategic events (sports, Thanksgiving) with many hearing and seeing the gospel lived out.
Impatto Budrio, Budrio (https://www.facebook.com/ImpattoBudrio/): a missional community that engages with its city, families and young people. Weekly opportunities to live out authentic community with the unsaved and a continued dedication to live out the Gospel in all aspects for our city.
Nuova Vita, Bologna (http://www.nuovavita.org/): 10 interns preparing for full-time ministry (8 hours of weekly theology, pastoral accountability, ministry skills). A new elder to strengthen the leadership; ministry responding to human trafficking, and opportunities among refugees. Sophos ministry library/book store and start-up publishing house.
Nuova Vita, Salerno (http://www.nuovavitasalerno.com/): a year of growth numerically and in depth! Grateful for a wonderful sense of community - evident by a growing passion for serving both those within the body of Christ, and those who do not yet know Him. Enjoyed having teams and different visitors. Truly excited at the close of this year for the progress made and for what lies ahead - more interns arriving soon to focus on reaching university students and young adults, and realizing our growing vision for churchplanting!
IMPATTO ON THE MOVE!
- Formazione: training events in which we significantly engage with gospel-centred theology. These two annual events are a place where Impatto church-planters, husbands and wives can meet and grow. Robust, redefining, significant and uplifiting. Themes explored thus far: the gospel at the centre, gospel-centred ecclesiology.
- Relazione: an annual family retreat where for a few days together as families we can relax, enjoy each other and grow as family. Highlight for the 2016 event: fun family activities and a significant and moving time of prayer.
- International Gospel Partnership: Albania! - as we develop as a family of churches, we want to invest in mission around us. Not only in Italy, but beyond as well. An exciting opportunity has developed for us to be involved in co-laboring with the emerging A29 vision in Albania. Italy and Albania will be partnering together for the gospel. During 2017: watch this space!
YOU AND IMPATTO
- Will you pray? - Conversations and contacts are truly abounding and people enjoy authentic community and love to be around us. But making disciples is much more than that. It is true belonging - finding identity in and union with Christ! Pray earnestly that during 2017 many of those who come might fully embrace the life-changing gospel of grace.
- Will you give? - During 2016 we have been truly blessed to be able to make giant strides in creating a strong sense of family and in sharing our vision and passion with others. We have seen important, courageous steps of faith taken by churches who are now taking first steps to see other churches planted. There is exciting momentum. We are now believing that we will be able to continue serving the Impatto family as we look to 2017, believing a great God for great things. Will you consider partnering with us financially? One thing which would be awesome is if a few more churches decided to twin with us! A 2-way partnership to enjoy, encourage and be encouraged.
- Will you come? - One thing is to read and hear about Italy., another is to come! It has been great to be able welcome different individuals and teams to get a vision of the situation here. Could you come on a vision trip? Or bring a team to help and encourage the ongoing work? Or maybe you should consider taking a step of faith and obedience and join us here in Italy…
Successful launch of our blog
During 2016 we launched our own Impatto blog (impattoitalia.org). Twice a week significant articles are posted. A few even written by us. This allows healthy gospel-centred theology to be shared with a growing readership. Below you can see some of them (in Italian!).