Starting high impacting, gospel-centric, New Testament churches through friendship development, discipleship, and leadership training — Helping the church in Western Ireland to reach her full redemptive potential through church planting and disciple making!
Pray for open doors and hearts in Ireland. A divided country and ongoing violence involving religious beliefs have taken a toll on the people in Ireland. In addition, a cloud of secular, postmodern darkness has begun to spread from continental Europe. Many are lost in atheism, materialism, New Age beliefs and indifference to sin. Yet, there is a hunger for lasting peace. Almost three quarters of the population is under the age of 45 years, with the majority of that population being under the age of 30 years. The Irish hold as a high value family and children. They are greatly influenced socially, politically and religiously by Catholic traditions.
Since 2008, Kirk and Sandlin Poth have served the Lord in His kingdom advancing program through the planting of churches and the making of wholly devoted disciples of Christ in the west of Ireland.
Kirk’s interest in missions began during a missions conference in Arizona in February of 1978, after which Austria seemed to stick in his mind. It was during their seminary days at Western Seminary (1980-1984) in Portland, Oregon, that Kirk and his wife, Sandlin, began to explore the needs for overseas missions. Their burden grew for the diminutive number of Christian workers in other countries, especially in post-Christian Europe.
In January 1988, after eighteen months of language study in Vienna, the Poths took up the challenge of opening a fourth church planting ministry in southern Austria for WorldVenture. They completed their church plant in Spittal, Austria, 10 years later in 1998. The Lord then directed Kirk towards pursuing a distance learning degree (M.Th.) from London School of Theology in Biblical Studies, which he finished in July 2006 while being on a church’s pastoral staff in Northern California.
The Poths always maintained the belief, as well as the hope and prayer, that the Lord would redirect them back to the mission field after completing their course of studies. Indeed, that is exactly what God did. In January of 2007, Kirk and Sandlin reapplied to WorldVenture and were accepted to pursue a church planting ministry in Ireland instead of to Austria this go around, much to the Poths’ delight. Kirk says, “It is the passion of our hearts and has always been our passion to plant churches in postmodern Europe. Church planting involves a venturing out into the unknown (i.e. being a risk taker while letting yourself be astounded at how the Lord delights in granting his heavenly solutions.). It involves an uncovering of his will in fulfilling his kingdom purposes, and it demands a great amount of faith dreaming.”
In August of 2008, the Poths’ driving passion to plant churches in western Ireland became a reality as they joined the ranks of other WorldVenture missionaries. Kirk and Sandlin deeply believe to be making disciples in this land known as “a land of saints and sinners” is hugely necessary and is a strategic and crucial ministry that requires much patience and tenacity in a time when true biblical Christianity is wanting.