Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world filled with some of the kindest people you will ever meet! Though they speak English, each county has a different accent and different ways of doing things, but all the same welcoming nature. If Irish blood is in you, the desire to visit is likely not too far behind.
Irish people value family and relationships higher than anything else. Who you know and who they are is still incredibly important. Therefore, the work takes longer and can often be frustrating to the North American who just wants to come and “make an impact” for God in Ireland. The Irish first must trust you and if they do not know you (or anyone who knows you) yet, that will take time. This is why TEAM Ireland is working hard to build a network of relationships with a variety of churches across the Nation to connect incoming missionaries with established faith communities. This is all with the firm understanding that we are here to serve them for as long as they want in any capacity they need. Serving in Ireland develops the qualities of humility and flexibility like none other!
The Spiritual Need in the Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland is the least reached English-speaking nation in the world. People assume that because Ireland has traditionally been a Catholic nation that it is Christian. However, Irish Catholics (74% of the 2020 population) in general do not refer to themselves as Christian. They call themselves Catholic and 30% of those also proudly proclaim they are atheists. The fastest-growing religion in Ireland is that of ‘none’. For evangelical Christians in Ireland, there are around 1.3% in Dublin. The further west you go it drops well below 0.3% born again believers. There are some growing churches, but Ireland has many immigrants from countries where Christianity is much more prevalent, so they naturally attend church after they immigrate. Of course, we embrace all believers from all over the globe. Thus, you may find yourself in a church with many African, Filipino, eastern European, or other immigrant believers in the larger cities. However, if you find yourself in rural Ireland (the majority of the country) you will be hard-pressed to even find an active church in many communities. Many of the Catholic churches are also closed. TEAM Ireland’s heart is to join the Lord in His calling and growing of disciples and to reach out to those who have never had an opportunity to hear the truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ.