Pastors and Leaders

The work of Israel Next should be seen as complementary to the work of the local church. Our vision is completely dependent on a strong cooperation with senior pastors, the church leadership, youth pastors and young leaders. Only churches that have an active and sound Israel engagement will be able to pass this on to the next generation. We are here to help you!

Israel Next will be organizing study tours for pastors and leaders intended to give you the tools to initiate or strengthen your own Israel engagement. Please read more on the “Tours” page. If you are interested in a visit from Israel Next in your local church, we refer you to the “Seminars” page. The brief analysis below provides the background for why Israel Next was established.

The challenge

Christian theology has for centuries been dominated by a teaching that has minimised or eliminated God’s calling on Israel and placed the church alone at the centre stage of His divine plan. Replacement theology, as this is often called, is still influential, and its effect is felt in most churches to various degrees.

Substantial changes started taking place with the rise of modern Christian Zionism in the 18th century. The return of the Jews to their biblical homeland during the late 19th and 20th century, the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 are in Christian Zionism understood as divine interventions.

Until the 1990s sermons on Israel’s role in God’s plans were common in many Christian circles, but in an earnest desire to understand the times, some of the teaching became dogmatic and focused on fringe aspects. This, coupled with the challenge of creating a coherent message of history, current political events and the prophecies – in an increasingly Israel hostile society – led many pastors to put aside this controversial topic. For most churches, however, Israel continued to be absent from their teaching and theology.

The result was that Israel engagement became an activity for individuals, groups and organisations with a special interest in the topic. Although these
gatherings often emphasised current events in light of biblical prophecies, the teaching seldom provided credible answers to the complexities of the current reality. Israel teaching thus remained of little interest to the regular churchgoer.

Today, Israel events are often organised by groups with little or no supervision from their church leadership. This lack of ownership on the part of the church signals that Israel is not an integral part of the church’s understanding and therefore its activities. Based on all the above, getting a sound understanding of Israel has not been easy for the next generation. The lack of teaching in most churches, and the lack of credibility of the teaching in other churches, leaves many feeling that Israel-engagement is a side issue within the church. All this, together with a largely Israel-hostile society, has not given the next generation many opportunities to make an informed decision.

This is what Israel Next seeks to rectify. We want to bring Israel back into the church and to the next generation, leading to a biblical appreciation of Israel and the Jewish people. We consider logical, factual, just and moral arguments to represent biblical values, and in this sense, they are biblical arguments. Therefore, our efforts are not restricted to reaching Christians only.