In this church we are all foreigners

No first or second class members in the Body of Christ.

Harvey Kwiyani writes inspiring and stimulating blogs, which you can all read at his website.

We want to bring one to your attention. The title is: ‘There is no other host but God’. There is no host other than God alone. In the Bible we read (in 1 Cor. 12:21) that no member of the Body of Christ can say to another member, “I don’t need you.” Harvey states: “I am convinced that the gospel comes to us with a multicultural necessity. The vitality of the worldwide Body of Christ depends on the mutual exchange between its parts (Eph. 4). All parts must receive from other parts. All parts must give something to other parts. No part is self-sufficient.”

In short, there are no first-class or second-class members in the Body of Christ. But how does this work in practice? One way to think about this is that God has drawn us together in Christ to the heavenly table, where God alone is host and we are all guests. The table metaphor allows us to reflect on the fact that we all bring and share our authentic cultural food in God’s presence. To taste the gifts of another part of the Body—from brothers and sisters from another part of the world—just look around the table. This works well when we successfully curb the urge to dominate and assimilate each other in our ways, but instead embrace diversity for what it is: a gift from God.

Given the global dynamics of our segregated existence, the challenge is whether we can really all be guests at God’s table. This requires a great deal of self-emptying for all of us, a letting go of our power and rights (Phil. 2). It is not necessary for those on the margins to parrot what the powerful and influential among us say and do in order to be accepted.

An older and wiser friend of mine, a white American man, led a multicultural congregation that was a safe haven for asylum seekers in St Paul, Minnesota. When I visited him, he told me, “In this church we are all foreigners.” The key to his theological conviction was that Christ decentralizes us all so that He can be our only Center.

Read other blogs on Harvey Kwiyani’s website

Interactive Bible study More color in the church

Intercultural Church Plants (ICP) Netherlands comes with a three-part online Bible study, ‘More color in the church’. The interactive material is suitable for small groups in the church. The series of studies will be presented during Opwekking and will be available via the website

Working together on racism, diversity and reconciliation

Christians are called to love and reconcile with one another, even across ethnic and cultural barriers. In practice this is not so easy. The theme of racism evokes feelings of pain, shame and resistance, also within the church. How do we initiate real change?

ICP Nederland has developed an interactive series in collaboration with presenter and creative Godwin Arhin and media house Living Image. The three-part small group material challenges the participants to actively work in small groups from a Biblical perspective on the themes of racism, diversity and reconciliation. More color in the church will be launched during the Opwekking Conference on Saturday, May 27, 2023 at 10 p.m. on the main stage.

Interactive and personal small group material

With this small group material you are assured of a number of fascinating, varied sessions, without having to spend a lot of time on preparation. In this way you can delve into this difficult subject in an accessible way.

This small group material is:

  • personal: the theme is treated by people who share their own experience about diversity and racism;
  • professional: the material has been developed based on years of experience with the theme and in collaboration with an educationalist;
  • interactive: video, Bible study, assignments and podcasts alternate and encourage the group to actively get to work.

With the online series, ICP will make a small group leader’s manual available on the website. The material can be started at any time from May 27.

Intercultural Church Plants Nederland

Intercultural Church Plants Nederland is een netwerk van interculturele kerken in Nederland. De missie van ICP is om – vanuit een profetische roeping – met kerken op weg te gaan richting culturele en etnische veelkleurigheid binnen de gemeentes. Dit doet ICP NL onder andere door het organiseren van trainingsdagen voor voorgangers, leiderschaps- en aanbiddingsteams, door begeleiding en intervisie, door het geven van preekbeurten en workshops etc. ICP Nederland werkt in verschillende verbanden samen met, en weet zich ondersteund door, onder andere de Protestantse Kerk van Nederland, Stichting Opwekking, Micha Nederland en SKIN. Het project is financieel mogelijk gemaakt door Verre Naasten en Missiefonds, de commissie missionaire steunverlening van de Nederlandse gereformeerde kerken, door Opwekking en door fonds Kerk en Wereld.


Note for editors

For more information, please contact Hans Euser, director and network leader of ICP Nederland by e-mail or by telephone 06-36015061.

ICP Worship Vision Morning – April 15 in Veenendaal

“Missions Exist Because Worship Doesn’t Exist”…

A strong statement by John Piper in his book “Let the nations be glad!” He describes why worship is so important, especially when we are engaged in missionary community building. For as important as we consider our mission, they are a means to an end: “Let the nations praise you, O God; let all nations praise you! Let the nations rejoice and sing for joy!” (Ps 67:3-4).

We would like to invite you to our Worship Vision Morning on April 15 in Veenendaal. View the invitation here:

Quote from John Piper’s book:

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.

Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.”

Worship is the purpose of our missions, but it’s also the fuel, Piper says.

“But worship is also the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can’t commend what you don’t cherish. Missionaries will never call out, “Let the nations be glad!” who cannot say from the heart, “I rejoice in the Lord…I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High” (Ps 104:34, 9:2). Missions begins and ends in worship.”

Let’s put it loosely: Missionaries (or evangelists, or church builders, or followers of Jesus) will never cry, “Let the nations be glad!” if they themselves cannot say from their hearts, “I rejoice in the Lord…I will be glad and exult in thee, I will praise thy name, O Most High.”

If you don’t know the real meaning of worship, if you don’t walk the path of worship to God’s throne yourself, if you have no idea what it’s like to be in God’s presence in worship…or if you just kind of forgot how in worship your heart is first served by God Himself… then how can we lead the nations in that, bring the people to that place, into God’s presence, in His glory…?

Watch this short video and get inspired…

Piper concludes, “Missions begin and end in worship.”

At ICP we have a dream: all nations before the throne of God, in worship, focused on the Lamb. All nations, tribes, languages, colors, backgrounds… One heart, one voice, one Body.

On Saturday 15 April we are organizing a Vision Morning in Veenendaal. A morning for worship leaders, musicians, technicians, pastors, leaders; worship teams who want to delve together into worship in today’s intercultural church.

Register quickly via this link…

Pastoral and Relationship Training Intercultural couples Report ICF Utrecht

ALast January, a group of 15 intercultural couples started in ICF Utrecht. The meetings were interactive, educational, and fun. There was a lot of laughter about recognizing each other’s situation!

An intercultural relationship is different
Claude and Corina Mushikangondo and the Utrecht couples first thought together about why an intercultural relationship is different. Actual circumstances are often challenging, for example due to language and integration problems, residence permit stress, arrears in the labor market for the foreign partner, etc. This affects the interaction between partners; it can cause friction.

For example: usually the Dutch partner bears almost the entire burden of administrative and regulatory matters. Quarrels go off the rails more quickly if partners do not master the language equally well. The way partners invest in their marriage is also different. Integration requires major efforts for non-Dutch citizens. Dutch partners invest by supporting their spouse who sends money to relatives. Important to recognize that! It also became clear that there are major cultural differences in communication styles. Fortunately, most people knew their partner’s rules of communication.

Embrace Biblical culture
The group also discussed the top two topics intercultural couples argue about: gender ratio and money. Claude challenged the men to take on their role based on to let go of the Bible (Ephesians 5) and tradition and culture. It evoked many reactions and also beautiful testimonials.

Why this training?
The purpose of this group is to strengthen intercultural relationships, by stimulating mutual exchange and group loyalty and raising awareness of the challenges of intercultural marriage. The vision is for the couples to encourage and support each other. The leadership of the congregation is also involved, so that they can provide better marriage pastoral care when there are problems. Jasper de Kok, predecessor of ICF Utrecht, was there and Bert de Jong, elder and himself in an intercultural relationship. They thought it was very positive and were happy that this could take place.

Two participants about the workshops:
We enjoyed the time together and had enough material to talk about afterwards. We hope there will be more sessions with other interesting topics. I personally also enjoyed the women’s and men’s group at the first assignment.”

“We also enjoyed the training very much. It were very helpful topics and what was especially remarkable that we had so much in common with the other intercultural couples. It was eye opening to see that I often thought some things in our marriage were just issues we only have, but it is often cultural! We hope there will be more sessions like this.”

More information about ICP’s Training offer

Ask for more information about the training courses of Claude and Corina

Looking back Network Morning Utrecht

Does racism play a role in our intercultural churches? What do we believe about this and how can we deal with it?

With a wonderful group of pastors and pioneers, a sensitive theme, a delicious lunch and deep conversations, the ICP network morning on March 17 was another gem.

Paul Hagayi was there to lead us through a time of worship. Hans Euser and Godwin Arhin took us on a story about unity in diversity, about inequality in hidden places and about handles for a problem that affects the whole world – Racism and discrimination, also in the church.

Godwin shared his personal story with us. As a man of color, as a father of white foster children, as an employee, and as a church member, he has much to say about the inequality that exists in our systems, and sometimes in our personal patterns.

Awareness and understanding are important steps in a process towards unity in diversity. But it doesn’t stop there. We want to grow and change. As an intercultural church in the Netherlands, we want to offer a place to people of all nations. And then we run into some challenges. How do we deal with that? What can we do?

ICP develops conversation material for small groups around the theme of ‘Racism and the Church’. Godwin is also involved in this. During the Pentecost conference of Opwekking we will launch the material and we can take the visitors of the conference into this story.

In Utrecht during the Network Morning, we discussed this subject in small groups. We brainstormed and shared new insights with each other. We are grateful for the voice of the pastors and pioneers. Grateful that together we form a network that has a shared mission and grows ever stronger towards the unity that God has in mind for His church.

Do you want to know more about the project on Racism and the Church? Then please contact us.

We would like to invite you to keep June 17 free in your agenda. Then we organize the ICP Network Day for the entire network and we discuss this important subject together.

More information about this day will follow as soon as possible. Keep an eye on the website.