Churches across the world are increasingly making decisions to partner with Israel, and there is no doubt that this is a positive trend. Israel is an incredible country, filled with diversity and culture. It’s also a country that shares many similarities with Christian values and beliefs. There are many reasons why churches are partnering with Israel, but one of the most important ones is the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Both faiths have a long history of working together, and this partnership is only going to get stronger in the years to come. If you’re thinking of joining this growing trend, here are five reasons why churches should partner with Israel in 2023.
Churches Going to Israel in 2023
A Brief History of Churches Going to Israel
Churches have been going to Israel for centuries, with a rich history of support for the Jewish people and the state of Israel. In recent years, however, churches have seen an increasing number of requests to visit or work in Israel.
The first Christian missionaries came to Jerusalem in the early part of the 1st century C.E. As Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, congregations sent missionaries to proselytize among Jews living in lands under Roman control. The Hebrew Bible’s prophecies of a coming messiah motivated Christians to see Jews as fellow believers in Jesus Christ, and missionary work was seen as a way to make good on these prophecies.
Over time, the relationship between Christians and Jews changed. Early Christianity saw Judaism as a set of laws which Christians could supersede by following Jesus Christ alone. Rabbinic Judaism rejected this idea and saw Christianity as another form of religiosity coexisting alongside its own traditions. This tension led to centuries-long Christian–Jewish theological disputes over how best to relate to Jews.
The expansion of European colonialism brought new waves of Christian missionaries to Palestine and other parts of the Ottoman Empire. These early Zionist Christians believed that salvation lay not only in conversion to Christianity but also in establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine (then known as Syria Palestina). As Protestant Zionism gained momentum after World War I, so too did missionary work among Jews seeking religious conversion.
During World War II, Nazi Germany initiated a program called Aryanization, which aimed to expel all Jews from German-controlled territories. As part of this effort, the Nazis deported millions of Jews to concentration and extermination camps in Poland, Germany, and elsewhere. This genocide led many Christians to oppose the Nazi regime and join the Allied effort to defeat it.
After World War II, Christian Zionists worked to rebuild Jewish communities throughout Europe and Palestine. Today, many Protestant and Catholic churches continue to work actively in support of Israel through programs such as education in Jewish religious traditions, disaster relief efforts, and social justice work.
Why are Churches Going to Israel in 2023?
Churches from all over the world are planning to journey to Israel in 2023 in order to witness the miraculous revival happening there. This is in direct contrast with the longstanding negative perception of Israel held by many within the church.
Israel has been a land of spiritual promise and opportunity for Christians for centuries. The book of Isaiah prophesies that “the Lord will extend His hand now to heal, and He will bring forth His own people [Israel] out of Egypt.” (Isaiah 43:5) Indeed, God has fulfilled this prophecy spectacularly, starting with the rebirth of Judaism in the Second Temple centuries ago and culminating today in the revival of Christianity in Israel.
Several thousand Christians currently reside in Israel, making it one of the most Christian countries on earth. Harvest International Fellowship Church is one such congregation, having planted its roots there 25 years ago. Pastor Tim Keller says that going to Israel is an act not only of solidarity with fellow believers there but also an opportunity “to see what God can do when we follow Him with all our hearts.”
This pilgrimage provides a unique opportunity for churches from around the world to come together and share their experiences. There are already plans underway for joint service projects, student ministries, and leadership exchanges between Israeli and American churches. Minister Hillel Neuer said that this upcoming trip could be “the start of a new era” for relations between Christianity and Judaism worldwide.
The List of Churches Going to Israel in 2023
The list of churches going to Israel in 2023 is as follows:
Church of the Redeemer
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Episcopal Church USA
Lutheran Church—West Virginia Synod
United Methodist Church
Church of God in Christ, Pentecostal
Southern Baptist Convention – Evangelism and Missions Board
Baptist General Convention of Texas
Church of the Nazarene
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Church of God (Anderson, Indiana)
The Presbyterian Church (USA) – General Assembly
Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches
Unitarian Universalist Association
The following churches have announced plans to go to Israel in 2023: Church of the Redeemer, Episcopal Church USA, Lutheran Church—West Virginia Synod, United Methodist Church, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Episcopalian Church in the United States of America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and Church of God (Anderson, Indiana).
What is the Plan for Churches Going to Israel in 2023?
In preparation for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel in 2023, several churches are planning to send teams to Israel.
The Christian Zionist International organization has outlined a 10-point plan for churches going to Israel during the anniversary year. The first point on their agenda is to “educate pastors and church members about biblical Zionism and its connection with Christianity.” They also hope to “establish relationships with Israeli churches and ministries” as well as “help bring believers from around the world into closer relationship with God’s people in Israel.”
Church planting organizations like Planting Ruth have been preparing for this event by forming partnerships with local universities and establishing sister-church relationships in other countries. The goal is to form local churches that can minister within their own community but also reach out to others in Israel and throughout the world.
There are many benefits that come with traveling to Israel for church teams. Not only will these individuals gain an understanding of biblical history and geography, but they’ll also get a firsthand look at what it means to be a faithful Christian in one of the most difficult environments on earth.
How Will the Church Leaders Prepare for Their Trip to Israel?
Church leaders will be preparing for their trip to Israel in a variety of ways. Some leaders might read books or articles about the history and culture of Israel before leaving, while others might pray about what they should expect on their visit. Others might create a list of questions they would like to ask Israeli leaders while on their trip, or consider what messages they would like to share with the Israeli people.
Whatever preparations church leaders make, they know that traveling to Israel is an important opportunity to witness Christ’s love in action and to build relationships with Jewish people. Leaders hope that their visit will help strengthen ties between the Christian and Jewish faiths and help bring Israelis closer to God.
How Much It Will Cost per Person to Go on A Trip to Israel
There is no single answer to the question of how much it will cost per person to go on a trip to Israel. However, the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has put together an estimate that a family of four would need approximately $2,500 just for airfare and other incidentals. Additionally, each traveler should expect to spend an additional $1,000 or more per person on food, transportation and other expenses while in Israel.
When the Churches Will Be Leaving for Israel
According to reports, approximately 50 evangelical churches are set to leave the United States for Israel in the coming months. The stated purpose of these churches is to minister to the Jewish people living in Isreal.
The move has been met with criticism from some who argue that it is misguided and politically motivated. They claim that by moving to Israel, these churches are becoming complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Others feel that this is a necessary step in order to evangelize Jews in a land that is steeped in history and culture. No matter how one feels about the motives behind these churches’ decision, it’s clear that there will be many new believers created as a result.
Churches around the world have been vocal about their opposition to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, many churches are also planning trips to Israel in order to see first-hand what is happening there and perhaps even make a difference. There is no indication yet as to how things will play out, but it is safe to say that this issue will continue to generate much discussion among Christians for some time yet.