Although Amsterdam, as a Send Light to the Cities designate, has experienced obstacles which did not allow it to move forward quickly, every effort is strategically directed. Not having a strong presence initially in the Netherlands has hindered as there are only five total congregations. However, a new church plant was recently begun in the city. Purchasing or leasing a building is not easy, because of extremely high real estate costs. The search continues to acquire property in the city.
Special attention is being given to finding a building that can eventually serve as a self-supporting and self-sustaining property—by subleasing to other tenants so lease expenses can be shared, or possibly even eliminated. The goal is to survive without outside assistance no later than three years after the project begins, but, ideally, even sooner.
Innovative and creative approaches to church planting must be found … a seeker friendly environment is more likely to attract interest, with a building having the capacity of accommodating 200 to 500 people.
John and Shakila Olsen are pastoring a daughter church under Senior Pastor Bishop John Lataster, who is also the World Missions representative in the Netherlands. These individuals affirm they are ready to Send the Light as soon as funding is released. In the meantime, the School of Discipleship is scheduled to begin January 2018.
Stephen Darnell is the field director, who is overseeing the project.