Vašek Andrs is an Acts 29 church planter in the Czech Republic. He planted KOSTEL Jinak, which means “a different kind of church.” This different kind of church is made up of 95% first-generation Christians.
This isn’t surprising in this context. Vašek didn’t meet a Christian until he was 18 years old. A year later, in 2007, he gave his life to Christ at an “English camp” after Christians from Minnesota shared the gospel with him. English camps are popular among young adult Czechs who desire to learn a new language.
New Language, New Life
Vašek confesses he only started reading the Scriptures so he could debate the Christians he met. During these camps, Vašek kept reading his Bible and asking questions. After reading Romans one night and wrestling with how it didn’t make sense, he discovered the Lord had opened his eyes to the truth; he believed it was all true and responded in faith.This different kind of church is made up of 95% first-generation Christians. Click To Tweet
However, he didn’t realize he was a Christian yet. Later, he was sitting in a pub with a friend from camp, talking about how his attitude toward God and the Bible had changed. Vašek told his friend, Petr, “Isn’t this amazing?” To which Petr responded, “So, are you a Christian now?” Vašek answered, “Oh yeah, I believe, so I am!” Two years after his salvation, God saved Petr, too (who is now an elder in the church).
A New Church Launches
Vašek plugged into a local church. He attended a liberal university with a bad theological program. Unsatisfied, he decided to go to Minnesota, where his Christian friends were. He felt called to pastor a church but knew he needed proper training.
He spent six months interning in the Minnesota church in their college and high school ministries and did some preaching. Initially, he didn’t wish to return to the Czech Republic, but God changed his heart and gave him the desire to return to his homeland and plant a church since there were so few gospel-proclaiming ones.
Vašek and three other men planted KOSTEL Jinak. Only one was raised in a Christian home, and none of them knew anyone who had planted a church. Essentially, they had no experience and no role models, but an abundance of conviction. They launched in 2013 with ten people, meeting in Vašek’s living room for a while. Today, they are joined by almost 100 people on Sundays. Only five people in the church come from a Christian background.
New Missional Partners
Vašek pursued more theological training at Crosslands and completed his studies in 2016. At the time, he didn’t see the value in joining Acts 29 since the closest church to him was in Germany. But he believed in Acts 29’s philosophy of ministry, values, and theology. So in 2019, he completed his assessment, and his church joined the network.
Vašek said, “We joined Acts 29 because we want to see their values replicated throughout Europe. This is our DNA, too. This is the gospel movement we want to be part of in Europe.” He also values the missional collaboration of the network: “We desire to partner with other churches, and being part of Acts 29 takes the guesswork out of partnerships.”“We joined Acts 29 because we want to see their values replicated throughout Europe. This is our DNA, too. This is the gospel movement we want to be part of in Europe.” -Vašek Andrs Click To Tweet
As the church began gathering in person again after Covid, they met in a small space on the third floor of a building. Vašek said it looked like an attic and had one bathroom. They found a new space in a great location that would meet their growing needs.
They acted in faith by putting up a down payment for the space, trusting that God would provide the large sum of money they didn’t have. They rejoiced when he provided the remaining funds within two months! Almost 70% of the money was raised from US churches—primarily Acts 29 churches or churches planted by Acts 29 churches. The rest came from the Czechs.
More New Christians and New Churches
This church’s mission is to “live for God with everything and everywhere.” They’re devoted to teaching how faith affects all of life. Vašek said he’s proud of the maturity of the believers. They are biblically trained, have a high view of the Scriptures, and care for their community.”
KOSTEL Jinak is planting their first new church in a nearby bigger city, and it’s costly. They’re sending out about 15% of their members and 25% of their tithes. Vašek said, “We want to be a church that plants churches in Czech. Our next church-planting resident is on track to plant our second daughter church in three years. We desire to launch a movement of gospel-proclaiming churches in Czech.”
It’s unacceptable that Czechs born today wouldn’t meet a Christian who shares the gospel with them until they’re adults. This is what Vašek and his church are trying to change by making disciples who make disciples. This is their mission to reach their city, and it’s our mission as a global network. We unite to advance the kingdom of Christ worldwide.