Responding to a Significant Cultural Shift in European Nations’ Societies

In 2000 the International Christian Fellowship (ICF) of Rotterdam was started in a culturally diverse neighborhood. After several years inquiries came from other cities in the country to help them start new intercultural communities like the ICF. In 2006 the network of Intercultural Church Plants (ICP) started as an answer to the need in a Dutch, multicultural society. With the support and help of ICP more than 30 churches were planted. 

While this network began in The Netherlands, at the same time there are similar initiatives elsewhere in Europe. An early goal was to meet at the European level, to exchange perspectives, to learn from each other, and to see healthy movements of church planting develop all over the Netherlands and Europe. 

The mission of ICP is to advance the kingdom by equipping church planting efforts with intercultural communities. There are three main things done through ICP.  

  • Inspire churches, organizations and theological schools with the vision of Revelation 7:9-12. ICP searches for and recruits new pioneers and church planting teams.

  • Train newly formed church planting teams in a two-year span with four weekend sessions, monthly contact and personal coaching.

  • Support the network of intercultural church plants with what they need with training days, tools, and research.

It also has a long-term goal of sending out people to their homelands in order to plant churches there. ICP also encourages church plants to eventually plant other churches, because they see multiplication as essential to the growth of the church in Europe.

ICP has a strong missionary and intercultural focus. Grace is at the heart of the ICP work. They combine sound theology with a great openness for everything the Spirit of God is accomplishing in the worldwide church of Jesus.

In order to reach the increasing number of immigrants and see the church represent the multicultural society, they have developed a more cross-cultural approach to church planting. Realizing that God sent Jesus to give us connection with Him and with each other they see that an intercultural church focuses on bringing the variety of cultures along ethnic lines together in one church.

ICP Netherlands has a strong team, including Hans and Carolien Euser, who have been the network leaders since Theo left ICP NL to start ICP Europe in July 2017.  With a European network taking shape, it will support national networks such as ICP NL. 

Other ICP NL members of the leadership team are from Iran, Burundi, China and Hungary. The team has recently collaborated with the Protestant Church of the Netherlands, giving them access to an additional, larger network. They are now involved in the training of 20 of the churches within the PKN network.  

ICP NL helped form another network with a result of engagement with all of the theological universities in the country. They are thinking through issues related to reaching an increasingly multicultural society. 

The Foundation has supported ICP NL with grants totaling $80,000 and ICP Europe with a grant of $15,000 to date.