International Christian Church

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International Christian Church
Classification Christian, Restorationist, Christian Fundamentalism, Non-Denominational
Orientation Whole Bible, Discipleship
Polity non-congregationalist
Associations MERCYworldwide, UpSideDown21, Discipleship Media, International College of Christian Ministries
Region 34 nations[1]
Founder Thomas McKean & Elena McKean
Origin 2006[2]
Portland, Oregon
Separated from International Churches of Christ
Members Claimed: 5,500[3]

The International Christian Church (ICC) is a restorationist, conservative , fundamentalist , Christian , denomination.[4] One of the foundational beliefs of the church is "the evangelization of all nations in one generation." Beginning in 2006 with 800 members in 16 churches, now eleven years later the ICC claims a worldwide membership of 5,500 across 84 churches.[5][6] The ICC's primary pillar church is in Los Angeles California and is currently lead by Tim & Lianne Kernan.[7]


The International Christian Church, which refers to itself as the "Sold-out Discipling Movement" (SODM) was formed in 2006 by Kip McKean[8] after his dismissal from the International Churches of Christ (ICOC). McKean sent out a mission team to begin a new congregation in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2006 and then led a team to Los Angeles in 2007 to start the City of Angels ICC..

In August 2008, the Portland International Christian Church, the founding church of the ICC, made the decision to break ties with McKean and the ICC.[9] The church chose to realign itself with the ICOC family of churches.[10] Four other churches, initially listed with the Portland Movement, followed Portland's lead and disassociated themselves from the International Christian Churches.[8] Not only churches are distancing themselves from the SODM, members themselves leave in large numbers. As one of the ICC Evangelists wrote:

Beliefs and practices[edit]

Each new member is taught the foundation of the Bible through a series of studies that emphasize a personal relationship with God, the necessity of discipleship within the Christian life, and the importance of being involved in a Christian community. The church also takes each member through classes about baptism and repentance of sin. Additionally these classes are offered annually to the church as a whole to teach members how to conduct them within their individual communities.

The general practice of the church is to publish a weekly "Good News email" which discusses the people joining the church. Websites themed "Why I left the ICC" have sprung up to provide another perspective of all the people leaving the church. The International Churches of Christ disfellowshipped McKean due to similar complaints of unbiblical leadership practices.[12]

The ICC emphasizes that Jesus' church in the Bible was persecuted, and therefore, members should not be concerned when outsiders refer to the ICC as a cult or with other emotionally-charged terminology. In fact, the ICC teaches that having detractors is great evidence that they are effectively imitating the teachings and practices of the church of the first century. Victor Gonzalez, having been a part of the ICC since its inception, disagrees. He was dismissed from the church for disagreeing with some church practices. He describes having been "physically manhandled" by top leaders when he attended the ICC's annual leadership conference.[13] The ICC leadership say that he was not happy because he was not chosen to be a World Sector Leader.[14][clarification needed]

Each member is expected to give a tithe or more of their income to the church. One or more times per year there is another contribution, the "Special Contribution," which is typically a multiple of the regular weekly contribution between based on need. This goal varies annually. "In 2015, most SoldOut Movement Congregations gave a minimum of 27X for missions – 20X in May (1X went to local weekly needs) and 9X in November (1X went to local weekly needs). In 2016, we have laid a plan for each church to give 25X for missions – 3X in February (1X to local needs), 20X in May (1X to local needs), and 5X in November (1X to local weekly needs)" This "Special Contribution" is taken up to fund missions and additional ministry expenses. Great emphasis is placed on each member reaching his or her goals through fund raising events and sacrificial financial giving.[16]

Relationship with other churches[edit]

McKean has repeatedly admitted that he has struggled with bitterness in his heart towards some of the leaders of the ICOC, which comes out in his speaking and descriptions of the ICOC.

[17] McKean also states that "most ICOC churches changed their names to align with the CoC", whereas only 5 of the 650 churches actually did so.[18] Additionally the ICC has classes at the annual leadership Jubilee, where members are trained and instructed how to reach out to and "harvest" people away from their "former fellowship".[19] They try to boost their growth by "drawing disciples away" from current ICOC congregations. According to Michael Taliaferro, leaders of the ICC misrepresent the beliefs of the ICOC and also paint a misleading picture, often calling it "dead and dying", despite the ICOC growing by over 15 000 members in the last few years.[20]

The church justifies its tactics to recruit from existing churches of disciples by using "remnant theology". This is an Old Testament concept describing Israelites who had not fallen into idolatry and abandoned their faith. This theology is applied to New Testament disciples who are in churches not under McKean's leadership. This same "Remnant Theology" has been used by many groups to make the group feel unique and justify exclusivism. The Seventh-day Adventist Church, has put a lot of emphasis on the remnant theme.[21]

Tenets of the church[edit]

The Five Foundational SoldOut Movement Convictions

  • We believe all scripture is inspired by God*[22]
  • We believe where the Bible speaks we are to be silent[23]
  • We believe the Church is composed of only Soldout disciples in discipling relationships[24]
  • We believe in a centralized leadership with a centralized leader[25]
  • We believe we will evangelize all nations in this generation[26]

Phase 1 to evangelize the world is referred to as "The Crown of Thorns Project." It involves planting 12 churches in 12 pillar global locations worldwide. The final planting to complete phase one is in progress to be finalized in August of 2017 with the Manila Philippians Mission team leaving for Hong Kong.[27]

The full outline of basic beliefs are available for study in the church's published doctrinal guide, called "First Principles."[28]

Meetings and ministries[edit]

The ICC has several main meetings: Sunday worship, and the Global Leadership Conference (GLC), as well as the Spanish-language Latin ministry (Ministerio Latino).

Sunday worship services are held every week with singing, prayer, communion, contribution for ministry expenses, contribution for benevolence, sermon, announcements, and fellowship.

The International College of Christian Ministry (ICCM) is a university affiliated with the ICC. The California Bureau of Postsecondary Education approved the founding of the ICCM, and the university received “Verification of Exempt Status” which allows the ICCM to grant Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Ministry according to their own Biblical doctrines and standards in various ministry tracks.[29]

The Global Leadership Conference (GLC) is an annual conference for members in leadership roles or those who aspire to leadership within the church.[30]

The World Missions Jubilee is a semi-annual conference of all of the congregations from around the world and all members are strongly encouraged to attend. Heavy fundraising usually takes place leading up to this conference to help pay for the many conference expenses as well as ministry compensation and expenses.

Ministerio Latino is Spanish for "Latin ministry" and are Spanish-speaking groups within some ICC churches.[31]

Associations & Internal Programs[edit]

The International College of Christian Ministry (ICCM)

The California Bureau of Postsecondary Education approved the founding of the ICCM, and the university received “Verification of Exempt Status” which allows the ICCM to grant Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Ministry according to their own Biblical doctrines and standards in various ministry tracks.[32] The internal seminary of the church has received some criticism[33] because their degrees are not transferable to department of education regulated 4-year universities.[34]

Ministerio Latino

Spanish for "Latin ministry" and are Spanish-speaking groups within some ICC churches.[35]

Discipleship Media

Discipleship Media (DM) & SoldOutPress Int'l are the nascent publishing arm of the ICC and currently publishes "First Principles" church booklets & Elena McKean's book, "Elevate."[36]

Good News Network

The Good News Network (GNN) is the film-making arm of the ICC, and has produced the short film, Eyes Wide Open and Respect.

MERCY Worldwide

Founded in 2008 and based on HOPE Worldwide, Maximizing Efforts for Relief Care and Youth (MERCY), is the benevolent arm of the church and organizes charitable events. Currently Nick & Denise Bordieri serve as Executive Director[37] and Executive Vice President.[38] Some of the events run by MERCY include: an international toy drive[39] and a blood drive across the US in partnership with the Red Cross.[40] MERCY Worldwide recently acquired the Workforce Developer Network of Chicago, a network of over 35 agencies throughout Chicago that works to find jobs for people with mental disabilities.[41][42]

Chemical Recovery Ministry

ICC churches have an internal Chemical Recovery Ministry aimed at helping people with addictions to alcohol, drugs and nicotine similar in format to other successful church programs.[43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Crown of Thorns Project Nations Data Update". Retrieved Aug21st, 2017.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ – Get Your Answers Here!
  3. ^ "Crown of Thorns Project Membership Data Update". 
  4. ^ "Icc Origins". Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Roger Lamb and the Disciples Today Editorial Advisory Board. "Kip McKean Starts The International Christian Churches". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Portland Breaks with McKean. Extends the Hand of Fellowship to the ICOC". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Portland Becoming a Popular Destination". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Brothers from the ICOC (November 4, 2005). "Brothers' Statement to Kip McKean 4 November 2005". Disciples Today. Retrieved May 6, 2012. .
  13. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  14. ^ " - Get Your Answers Here!". Kip McKean. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  15. ^ Kip McKean, website, March 8, 2014
  16. ^
  17. ^ "City of Angels International Christian Church » A Member of the SoldOut Discipling Movement » ACEDIA – THE FORGOTTEN SIN". City of Angels International Christian Church. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  18. ^ "WORLDWIDE: ICOC PLANTS 98 NEW CHURCHES SINCE 2003". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  19. ^ Raul Moreno, "Bringing in the Remnant", 2013 Global Leadership Conference [1]
  20. ^ "HotNews Response to Raul Moreno ICC Editorial". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Beliefs". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Report: 2012 Global Leadership Conference – Chosen". Washington DC International Christian Church. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  31. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  32. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  35. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Nick Bordieri". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Denise Bordieri – Contact - MERCYWORLDWIDE". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  39. ^ "TOY DRIVE". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  40. ^ "BLOOD DRIVE". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Workforce Developer Network Finds Jobs for 101 People with Disabilities, Gets Acquired by MERCYWORLDWIDE". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  42. ^
  43. ^ The Chemical Recovery Fellowship. "Misc - ChemicalRecovery.Org". 

External links[edit]