The Heart of Family Bible Church 

 In order to hear more about the network of intercultural communities and about what God is doing in the Netherlands, the so-called ‘Inspiring Conversations’ were created. Michele Atsma interviews Sam Jayasinghe this time. 

This is Sam 

Originally from Sri Lanka, 29 years living in the Netherlands. He read the Bible around the year 2000 for the first time and became fascinated with Jesus Christ, but he was not yet a true believer. After a long ‘spiritual wilderness period,’ he finally believed Jesus was the only way to be saved in 2009.  

Sam has lived in several cities. He joined churches wherever he went. This helped Sam to gain experience in diverse denominations. When he moved to Capelle Aan Den IJssel, which is close to Rotterdam, he joined Leef zuid. He was a faithful member of that Church. The founder Theo Visser saw some potential in Sam. He asked Sam to plant a new intercultural church in the North East area of Rotterdam. During this period, there was an American missionary couple from the Presbyterian Church. They were asked to plant an English-speaking church while Sam would plant a Dutch-speaking church. Sam and the missionary couple proposed working together on planting a church (bilingual or with translation). Theo agreed with this plan, and that is when Sam and the missionary couple started to draft a vision plan. Unfortunately, the missionaries unexpectedly left the country. Sam was thankful that some people were willing to help keep the work going on.  

Where does the name “Family Bible Church” come from? 

The name ‘Family Bible Church’ (FBC) was born after the team brainstormed the best fitting name. The word family, because anyone belonging to Christ will be part of His Family. The word Bible because it is the lens through which we view life, and FBC firmly believes in the sufficiency of the Scriptures, and Church because it is a fellowship of those who are called out by God. FBC is also an age-integrated church, meaning it does not have separate youth services. This means the preachers must also involve in their sermons the different age groups. FBC values biblical family principles such as brotherhood, biblical womanhood, and manhood. They believe this is a reflection of the outworking of the Gospel.  

The doors are always open 

During the challenging time with Corona, many Churches were closed entirely. FBC decided not to close it entirely because they saw it as an opportunity to support church members in times of need. FBC was also inspired by church history and how famous saints of God dealt with a similar situation. Some examples are C.H. Spurgeon, who served his congregation during the Cholera Outbreak in London. Martin Luther wrote the famous hymn, ‘A Mighty Fortress is our God’ during the Black Death while he, like Spurgeon, continued to serve the people by opening the Church. In the same way, FBC believes the Church must continue to serve the people to reflect the life of Christ as He came to the sin-sick world and yet was among His people. It helps the Church to tell the story of redemption.  

ICP and FBC 

ICP has been providing team training for FBC. Topics such as multiplying disciples, training leaders, and cultural insights impacted FBC. It gave them valuable insights to lead a multi-ethnic church.  

It helps FBC follow the Biblical pattern where one can see the Gospel itself bringing unity in diversity.  FBC is thankful to have a Church with people from various backgrounds and that it is blessed with a multi-ethnic leadership team.