In 2010, Andrew McCourt and Paul Reid from Christian Fellowship Church, Belfast invited pastors from all around Ireland to a round table retreat. The purpose of the event, named Explore, was to build relationships and hear what God was doing in the country. It was initially suggested that we meet once a year but the few days together persuaded us to meet every six months. Many had few friends and the opportunity to meet with others from similar type churches who were going through the same things enabled us to share in an open manner.
We soon began asking the question, “What could we do together?” Given the geographical spread of the churches we struggled to think of anything except church planting. A friend from the Netherlands mentioned ARC to us and we began to explore what it was about. We made contact with Greg Surratt. He and David Branchard kindly came to Belfast to meet with us. For the next few years, ARC America continued to help us both understand and implement the principles of ARC. We had conferences with Chris Hodges, Greg Surratt, amongst other leaders and eventually we agreed to start ARC Ireland, the first country outside the USA to be permitted to use the ARC name.
We planted two churches in 2018, in the greater Dublin area and both continue to thrive today. Since then, we have continued to train and launch church planters across Ireland.