Redeemer International Church was started in 2010 when a small group of people began to meet on a Sunday in The Hague. The group was made up of people from Holland, Africa and the UK. This team was led by Chris Taylor. Here, he shares a bit more about himself and the story of our church so far.
Although I am originally from Botswana, I met and married my (Dutch) wife in Cape Town, South Africa. Karin and I have been married since 2003, and we have two sons, and a daughter.
It was in my early teens that I really began to grasp the truth of God’s grace. Then, on a gap year in the UK, I was introduced to Newfrontiers, a ‘family’ of churches around the world. This, in turn, led to me joining Jubilee Community Church in Cape Town, where I went to study at university. After university, I was a teacher for a couple of years before joining the staff at Jubilee. For both Karin and I, our time in Cape Town was crucial in shaping us and giving us a greater passion to see a beautiful church emerge all around the world. It was also while at Jubilee that God gave us a desire to be involved in church planting in Europe.
In 2006 David Holden, a church leader from the UK who is involved in starting and strengthening churches around the world, first chatted to us about starting a church in Holland. Straight away, we knew that this was from God and we found ourselves getting more and more excited about moving. It gradually became clearer that The Hague was the city to which we should go.
In early 2009 we moved to London, and were a part of New Community Church. This is the church where David Holden is based and we were a part of the church for a year while we prepared to move to The Hague. It was during this time that we began to make concrete plans for starting the new church. People began to commit themselves and an initial church core was formed.
Exactly one year after our move to London, we finally moved into The Hague and straight away began to gather people in the team for times of prayer, worship, and getting to know each other. We always wanted the church to be grounded on the essentials of prayer, worship, and relationship building (with each other as Christians, and with new friends, neighbours, colleagues, etc, who do not know Jesus). In June of 2010, we started to meet with each other on a Sunday morning, using one of our homes as a venue.
We chose the name of Redeemer International Church because we felt it described perfectly who we feel called to be in the city. We want to primarily reflect Jesus, our great Redeemer. We want to be a place where many people find their lives ‘redeemed’ by the love of God. We chose to include ‘International’ in the title because we want to be a church that reflects the international demographic of the city, as well as one which shares God’s passion for the nations world.
People continued to join us through the summer of 2010 and by the autumn of that year, we were no longer able to meet in even the biggest of our homes. We then moved our Sunday meeting to the Anglican Church of The Hague, using their church hall on Sunday afternoons. This was a time of building essential foundations for us as a church, as well as going through our values, and working out what specific mission God had called us to. In March 2011, David Holden came with a team from London and kick-started us into a new phase, meeting in our own venue, a fantastic meeting space in the centre of the city.
Redeemer continued to grow and by the summer, we knew that we needed to find a bigger and more permanent venue. After much prayer and searching for a new venue, God answered us wonderfully by enabling us to meet in the Nieuwe Kerk, right in the center of the city. This amazing venue was built as a church in the 16th Century but has not had a Sunday congregation since the 1970s. Since then it has been used as a concert hall and function venue, and will now also be the Sunday home of Redeemer.
We do not know exactly what the future holds for us as a Church but we know that God is with us and He has given us great dreams of a great church that itself will be involved in starting many other churches. What an adventure!