Ichthus Christian Fellowship began in 1974 under the leadership of Roger Forster. Ichthus is a network of churches, based in London, but linked to churches across the UK and around the world.
We began with the mandate from God to evangelise London and the nations by planting churches of Christ-exalting, Bible-loving believers committed to the Lord Jesus, to His mission and to one another. By 1982 we had grown from 14 people to around 400 and two new congregations were being planted. Since then congregations have been established right across London, Essex and Kent, and a further 130 other churches in the UK and Europe are linked with us. We also have a thriving overseas missions movement with missionaries working in many nations, with a special focus on the least evangelised nations of the world.
Vision and Values
The following is a list of the Ichthus Vision and Values, which can also be found on the Ichthus website, www.ichthus.org.uk
Father – Son – Holy Spirit
We believe that our experience, the Bible and reason all point to one creator God who is a plurality and who made the diverse universe. The three persons of the Godhead exist in a state of mutual fellowship, relationship and sharing. Their mode of existence is loving communion which is to be reflected in our lives together in his church. We are a relational movement because we have a relational God – Father, Son & Holy Spirit – in loving relationship with us.
Love – Spirit-led humility – Evangelistic heart
Therefore we believe that the values by which the movement exists and grows are firstly love, which is the first definition of God (1 John 4:8,9,11), then humility which gives room for the Holy Spirit to guide the church (Luke 4:1) and thirdly evangelistic hearts like Christ’s who came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Whether we think we have an evangelistic ministry or not we are all witnesses to his grace and power.
Fellowship – Training – Mission
The make-up of the church is also three fold. First we are a fellowship where laughter, tears, joys, sorrows, and resources are shared together in training and mission. We believe the whole body of Christ must learn and train, and find a purpose in the mission of serving the world. Whilst we acknowledge the good work of theological colleges and missionary societies, we believe that the church is the place for hands-on training for service and mission.
Celebration – Congregation – Cell
The full participation in Ichthus life will be found through three fundamental meetings. The celebrations where congregations may come together to worship, where God’s truth and power are more fully manifest and where guidance and inspiration are given for the movement. Congregations are a local expression of the movement. They give opportunity for service and witness both to the body of Christ and the world, salting and lighting as Jesus says (Matt 5:13-16). Cells are linked to congregations and are occasions where lives are shared more meaningfully in homes or houses and support is found in one another.
Words – Works – Wonders
We proclaim the good news of Jesus through our words in evangelism (truth), through the good works which we practice in the church and the community (goodness), and through the miracles and grace of healing and deliverance which we expect to flow from the church (beauty/glory). All these reveal the heart of God.
Radical – Christocentric – Eschatalogical
We seek to make known the reasons behind what we do and experience in our lives in Christ. This is our theology or study of God. It is ‘radical’ in that it continuously resorts to our ‘roots’ in the Bible and the early church. Equally it is ‘Christocentric’ in that we look for Jesus in all of the Bible and in our experience of the Spirit of God (John 5:39-40; Luke 24:26-47). When we say our theology is ‘Eschatological’ we mean that while Jesus has brought in the Kingdom of God it is not yet manifest or operating in its fullness. This is why we pray ‘Your Kingdom come’. When Jesus returns we will see and experience the fullness of the kingdom of God which at present we see only in part.
Finance – Spiritual warfare – Worship
We are a faith movement in the sense that we believe that it is our trust in God which enables us to keep going, serving and blessing others and to see our day to day needs and financial commitments met here at home and abroad. This faith will be resisted, and prayer with spiritual warfare will always be necessary. It is out of this womb of intercession and worship that God continues to sustain, provide and carry us on.
All Christians – One another – As children
We seek to serve all Christians of all denominations in the light of Jesus’ words (John 13:34-35). A new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you that you also love one another, by this all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. This inclusive loving service is reckoned as child-like by Jesus (c.f. Matt 18:1-5) and therefore not arrogant, patronising or status seeking.
Race – Age – Gender
Paul states that in Christ there is ‘neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male and female’. We seek to see all people as persons of equal worth and potential, seeking to involve all without discrimination of race, age and gender. We aim to be inclusive.
10. Spheres of Operation
London – United Kingdom – Overseas
The Ichthus Christian Fellowship is composed of the London congregations of (currently approximately 20 congregations) forming one church. In the UK there are approximately 100 link churches in the Ichthus network and overseas there are around 70 ministries in various levels of relationship with Ichthus.
Ichthus Christian Fellowship exists to bring the salvation, power and Kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ to the nations.