Tobar was birthed out of Emmanuel church, Lurgan. The vision God has called us to at Emmanuel church is ‘to help rewrite the story of Craigavon, Ireland and the nations, with the good news of the Kingdom of God’. For 20 years of rollercoaster adventure we have given ourselves to this vision, witnessing glimpses of its reality come into being.
Then Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the same names which his father had given them. But when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of flowing water…Genesis 26:18-19
During the last 10 years God has specifically increased our burden for the land of Ireland, depositing a dream in our hearts and faith in our spirits, to believe for a spiritual awakening in this island, North and South. We long for a move of God’s Spirit that would affect every sphere of influence, renewing the church and calling a generation to whole-hearted discipleship.
As Emmanuel church has matured in this grace into a Resource Hub and Missional Training Centre, the leadership felt led by the Lord to bring definition and identity to this growing apostolic, translocal nature of its ministry. Two Biblical texts God has spoken to us through in this regard are:
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka (Weeping), they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.Psalm 84:5-6
The idea of old wells being reopened and new wells being released has gripped our imagination for a number of years and as such, Tobar — the Irish word for ‘wells’ or ‘springs’ — provided the perfect identity for the indigenously Irish apostolic network we sensed the Lord was birthing amongst us and calling us to name. This is described more creatively in the loop below.
Tobar consists of an apostolic leadership team, recognised by the local eldership of Emmanuel and has 3 main areas of ministry:
- Tobar Resource — our commitment to established churches, serving them for the purposes of renewal in the Holy Spirit and a commitment to mission and discipleship.
- Tobar Family — a network of church plants and missional communities birthed from Emmanuel and its partners targeting some of the most broken places in Ireland.
- Tobar Training — a pathway of leadership development to train and equip a new generation of church-planters and Kingdom initiators.
Our core values (DNA) as Tobar are:
- Relationship — we are friends, held together in life-giving and accountable relationships.
- Kingdom — we teach and embody a Kingdom theology where Jesus’ Lordship is proclaimed in every sphere of society.
- Missional — we are committed to the broken and lost in our communities and to seeing Ireland rediscover its identity as a sending nation in the 21st century.
- Charismatic — we love and value the person and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Bible — we immerse ourselves in the God story as God’s inspired word to us leading us into personal transformation and as our guide towards true apostolic ministry.