Archive for the ICOM Category

Happy First Birthday, Waypoint!

Posted in ICOM, Thank You on November 1, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

13892112_10153709899551319_8212265264257580350_nIt was just a year ago that the Board of Directors for both Envision and the VEF unanimously voted to merge our two organizations into one strong ministry to serve churches and leaders throughout the region. It’s been a big year ever since.

A new name and logo were chosen to brand our new image. We hosted the ICOM missions conference in Richmond. We planted two great new churches. We hosted 3 leadership seminars in NC and VA. We held two golf tournaments to share the Waypoint story. We added nearly 10 Fusion groups to our growing array of peer learning groups for pastors. And those are just the highlights!

It is your partnership and support that make all this happen. Thanks for being part of Waypoint’s first year!

It was also a big year for the Waypoint staff. Neil Wheeler came on board as the Director of Leader Care. Our Director of Media, Rachel Woolard, added a Graphic Design degree from Liberty University to her resume. Our Associate Director, Dave, and Administrator, Cindy Hileman, relocated from Williamsburg, VA to Raleigh, NC to serve as the home base for our ministry to North Carolina churches. And possibly the most exciting news was my family added four new ducks to our growing mini-farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We’re poised for another big year in 2017: New Fusion groups, five (yes, five!) new churches, more leadership seminars, more targeted consulting to help churches stay on mission. Because of our partnership with you, we’re “Navigating Ministry Together!”

Your Ministry Partner,

Tim Cole headshot - circle smTim Cole
Executive Director

This article was originally published in The Waypoint Endeavor: Fall 2016 edition. If you would like to receive future printed editions of The Waypoint Endeavor, please send your name and mailing address to


ICOM 2016 Refugee Project

Posted in ICOM on July 18, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
     — Hebrews 13:2, NIV

Refugee & International Student Engagement Project

Refugee & International Student Engagement Project

In 2015, Waypoint challenged local churches to raise funds to plant seven churches on six continents. These efforts encouraged the ICOM 2016 President, Mike Schrage, to start an initiative of his own: The RISE Project.

The Refugee and International Student Engagement (RISE) Project calls on the Church to mobilize and seize the unique opportunities we have in our own country. We can make a difference without acquiring a passport or learning a new language! Our ability to go to the ends of the earth has never been easier.

The RISE Project includes a small group video series to encourage viewers to better understand and get involved with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. We have an unprecedented opportunity to display the heart of Jesus by welcoming and serving those who are far away from loved ones and looking for ways to belong in their new home, whether temporary or permanent.

The goal of The RISE Project is to raise $250,000 to distribute through grants to churches and ministries who are willing to reach out and welcome those who have arrived as refugees or international students. As expert practitioners inform and train us, we hope to start a new conversation about these open doors and to rise up and embrace this sacred opportunity to represent the loving heart of Jesus to those who have come so far.

For more information, go to to learn, listen, and give.


Local Youth Conference Welcomes Renowned Worship Leader

Posted in ICOM on September 4, 2015 by Waypoint Church Partners

JohnMarkMcMillanJohn Mark McMillan, writer of “How He Loves” and “Future/Past,” joins SICOM students and college students attending ICOM for one amazing show, Saturday night, October 31st.

Following the Saturday night main sessions for ICOM & SICOM, John Mark will be performing a full show with his band!  You won’t want to miss this amazing show!  Admission is covered with SICOM registration, and a limited number of free passes will be available to college students at the ICOM information desk during conference.

Look for full SICOM registration packets coming to your church in the next few weeks!

Register Your Entire Church for ICOM 2015 in Three Easy Steps!

Posted in ICOM on September 3, 2015 by Waypoint Church Partners

One of the great features of ICOM coming to Richmond this Fall is their family friendly registration. It’s just $50 (individual registration is usually $25/person).

Even better, a church can pre-register their ENTIRE CHURCH for a low fee based on their average Sunday attendance.
Here’s how to do it in 3 easy steps:

  1. Go online to and click on the “Register” icon.
  2. Choose the “Church-Wide Registration” option, enter your church’s information, and pay.
  3. You will receive an e-mail confirmation that contains a link for you to share with your congregation so they can enter their own badge information before the conference. (Individuals from your church will still need to register individually using your church’s special code provided in the link.)

Pricing is pretty simple: just $150 for churches under 100; $250 for churches between 100 and 250, and so on. Amounts are listed on the church-wide registration page.

Note: The SICOM Teen Convention has a separate registration with a fee of $40 per teen to help cover the expense of their hands-on ministry experience led by the Engage Team from CIY.

We hope to see you and a great number of your church members at ICOM in Richmond October 29 – Nov. 1!

ICOM Full Logo

“The Away Team” Preaching Series

Posted in General Advice, ICOM on September 1, 2015 by Waypoint Church Partners

Created by Rick Raines, Minister at Fairmount Christian Church, Summer 2015

With the International Conference on Missions in Richmond on the horizon, our preaching staff wanted to prepare the hearts of our congregation for this exciting event. Fairmount Christian Church is located in Mechanicsville, Virginia just outside of Richmond, and we knew that with our proximity to the Conference we would have many of our folks in attendance at the Conference and we would have many who would be volunteering.  That’s why we decided to focus our entire summer to the theme of ICOM 2015: “The Away Team.”

Fairmount’s practice is to walk together through one book of the Bible over the course of the summer.  We alternate between an Old Testament and New Testament book each year.  As we began to consider the “Away Team” theme, it became powerfully obvious that the Book of Acts was going to be our summer reading focus and would be a great springboard to talk about the church as “The Away Team” in the world today.

We developed 13 unique, but interrelated, topics to carry us through June, July, and August.  Perhaps another congregation would consider using Acts for their springboard into ICOM or as their follow up to this great event.
Jim Tune, ICOM’s president this year, writes on the ICOM website:

The Away Team is a sports metaphor that illustrates how times have changed.  There was a time when the church had home field advantage in the USA, Canada, and other parts of the world.  Christians were the majority, influenced culture and enjoyed political privilege.  In other words, we had the equivalent of home field advantage.  But times have changed.  To be victorious today we need to adopt strategies that reflect our position as visitors to our own culture.

Those strategies are given to us clearly and boldly throughout the Book of Acts.

Below is our outline of Acts, highlighting the strategies and the reminders that the Away Team needs to always keep in mind:

  • Acts 1 – Commissioned – the Away Team is commissioned by Jesus to be witnesses throughout the world.
  • Acts 2 – Anointed – the Away Team is anointed by God’s Spirit to accomplish everything He has called us to do.
  • Acts 3-5 – Persecuted – the Away Team should expect persecution locally and globally.
  • Acts 6-7 – Serving – the Away Team has the greatest impact by touching the world through service.
  • Acts 8-9 – Obedient – the Away Team is obedient to the will of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit.
  • Acts 10-12 – Accepting – the Away Team accepts others the same way that God accepts others.
  • Acts 13-14 – Sending – the Away Team sends its people wherever there are folks who need the touch of Christ.
  • Acts 15-16 – Uncompromising – the Away Team will be uncompromising in its commitment to Christ and His Word.
  • Acts 17-19 – Persevering – the Away Team will persevere in an often-hostile culture.
  • Acts 20-21 – Devoted – the Away Team is firmly devoted to God and to the body of believers.
  • Acts 22-23 – Bold – the Away Team is bold in word and in deed.
  • Acts 24-26 – Blessed – the Away Team never forgets that they are richly blessed by God.
  • Acts 27-28 – Ready – the Away Team is constantly ready for whatever comes their way.

These are the themes that we developed.  If you would like more information about this series and if you would like to receive our outlines, feel free to contact Rick Raines at

Rick RainesRick Raines
VEF Board of Directors Vice President
Preacher at Fairmount Christian Church

Ethnic ICOM Project Announced for Columbia Heights in Washington, DC

Posted in Church Planting, ICOM on August 25, 2015 by Waypoint Church Partners

Washington DC Columbia Heights Map-02The VEF is happy to announce the ICOM church plant to be based in Washington, DC in the Columbia Heights area, near the National Zoo. The VEF is collaborating with New Life Christian Church, a VEF church plant, along with Passion4Planting to plant an ethnically diverse church in the Northwest neighborhood of Washington, DC. The goal of this ethnic project is to reach primarily second-generation Latinos. Second-generation Latinos (known as 2.0s) were typically born in the States to parents who immigrated from Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America.

An Urban Institute study of the District of Columbia revealed that neighborhoods with significant Latino populations are mostly clustered in the Columbia Heights area of the District. Demographics indicate that well over one third of the population in this region is of  Latino descent.

A recent VEF church plant, Restore Christian Church in Silver Spring, launched in October 2012 and is just a couple of subway stops north on the Red Line. Prior to Restore Church’s launch just three years ago, there was no presence of the Christian Church and Church of Christ inside the Capital Beltway. This new ethnic project will give us our second and counting! Additional funding partners are being gathered to help fully resource the project.

Lead Planter Joel Pazmino was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  Joel’s father left his job in the banking field to plant a church there when Joel was 17 years old. Later, Joel’s father came to the U.S. to plant another church for Spanish-speaking “Latino 1.0s” in the Baltimore area.

JJoel3 copyoel and his wife, Meghan, already reside in Columbia Heights. He will commute to New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA over the next year as part of his residency with Passion4Planting and a cohort of four other church planters preparing to plant new churches throughout the region. Meghan, a teacher, will be teaching this fall at Ross Elementary School, just four blocks from DuPont Circle in Washington, DC.

Joel recently served as Director of Spiritual Formation and Community Life at Centerpoint Church in Annapolis, MD where he and Meghan met. Joel holds a B.S. in International Business from Strayer University and completed coursework for his M.Div. from Bethel Seminary. Joel and Meghan successfully completed a Church Planter Assessment Center in November 2014. For the past 18 months, Joel has been a participant in the DC church planters’ coaching group led by Brett Andrews, the lead guy at New Life Christian Church.

Joel loves to run. He is naturally a huge soccer fan, supporting F.C. Barcelona and more locally, DC United. He’s also an avid Baltimore Ravens fan. Meghan graduated from the University of Maryland and is a big Terrapins fan. She loves cooking, baking and gardening, They have a three-year-old goldfish called “The Captain” who never stops eating.

To support Joel and Meghan as they prepare to plant a church in the heart of DC, e-mail them at You can also like their Facebook page and follow their progress at:

This article first appeared in the VEF Quarterly: Summer 2015 edition. To sign up for future issues of the VEF Quarterly, e-mail Rachel Woolard at!

Belarus: Planting a Church in “White Russia”

Posted in Church Planting, ICOM on August 6, 2015 by Waypoint Church Partners

belarus_family copyBelarus (literally “White Russia”) in Eastern Europe is a country most people could not find on a world map. But God is very much aware of the 10 million people living there. God is doing a special work in this land with young, often marginalized, evangelicals who are catalyzing a new movement of churches bringing faith, hope and new life to their communities.

Since becoming independent in 1991, Belarus has been reforging its own identity, emerging from the shadow of Russia – its largest neighbor and brother to the east. Unlike other former Soviet countries, Belarus retained much of its strong, centralized form of government while pursuing modest economic reforms. Much of the recent growth is due to government sponsored initiatives.

In Belarus, like in most of our world, over 70% of the people live in urban centers. Minsk, home to 2.3 million people, is the geographical, political, economic, and cultural heart of the country. Evangelical groups rep-resent slightly more than 1% of the population. They are distrusted and marginalized as cults by the Orthodox church and the government. The Voice of The Martyrs lists Belarus as a country hostile towards evangelical churches.

Even in this hostile climate, the evangelical church in Belarus and Minsk in particular has experienced a season of relative peace and growth. Although atheism and Russian Orthodoxy are still the predominant views, evangelical groups are stepping up to the challenge of planting new churches.

Impact Ministry Group and Impact Europe (formerly Global Missionary Ministries) have partnered to establish four of the six evangelical churches in Minsk. Now, under the catalytic leadership of Dmitry Lazuta, a new movement of churches is rising up with young leaders ready to take risks to reach their countrymen for Christ.

Dmitry Mamoyko is one of these leaders. He has planted a “Next Gen” church within the walls of an existing church, and this young congregation is ready to be fully birthed on its own. They are clearing and breaking ground in a residential area of Minsk to build their own worship center and meeting place.

Virginia Churches through ICOM are partnering with Impact Europe to launch this new church in a new building. There is a bright future for the church as God raises up young believers through new churches to shine the light of Jesus in White Russia.

About the Author: Scott LaRue is the new director of Impact Europe, a division of Impact Ministry Group (IMG), affiliated with Russian Outreach Network.

This article was originally published in the VEF Quarterly: Spring 2015 edition. If you would like to receive future printed editions of the VEF Quarterly, please send your name and mailing address to

ICOM is a Family Affair

Posted in ICOM on July 23, 2015 by Waypoint Church Partners

Cole FamilyWe’ve been taking our kids to ICOM since our first trip there over 20 years ago in Lexington, KY.

We hope you’ll bring your whole family to ICOM this Fall in Richmond. Along with the excellent programming and workshops for adults, there is also a great program just for kids and a special Youth Convention led by the nationally known teen ministry C.I.Y. (See the article inside).

One of my favorite parts of the conference is the display floor with over 500 booths where my kids get to see firsthand how God and His people are at work all over the world. I think every child and teen should experience this glimpse of world outreach during their childhood.

The registration fee for your entire family for all four days is a bargain at $50. Go online to register now at You can book your hotel room early on the same site. The VEF will have a large booth to welcome you just inside the entrance to the giant display floor. We hope to see you AND YOUR WHOLE FAMILY in Richmond October 29 – November 1!Tim Cole headshot - circle sm

Tim Cole
Executive Director

This article was originally published in the VEF Quarterly: Spring 2015 edition. If you would like to receive future printed editions of the VEF Quarterly, please send your name and mailing address to