APCH Mission & Values



"A Home for the Global Community, Growing in the Love of Jesus." 
"Guiding Principles: Core Commitments and Values"
"We are committed to: 
  •  Being One Family
  •  Keeping Christ at the Center
  •  Living out Our Calling
  •  Practicing Generosity
  •  Committing to “Sunday +2" (worship, grow, serve) 
  • Embracing Change

our covenant 

The following is a summary of these core beliefs held by APCH and all Christian Churches in the Protestant tradition.

The Bible
We believe the Bible is God’s word, fully inspired by the Holy Spirit,  and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. In it, God reveals Himself; renews our understanding of the world and ourselves; and directs us in all our relationships and activities. [2 Timothy 3:16 – 2 Peter 1:20-21 – Mark 13:31 – John 8:31 – John 8:32 – John 20:31 – Acts 20:32]

The Trinity
We believe there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they carry out distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption. [Genesis 1:1 – Genesis 1:26 – John 1:1 – John 1:3 – Matthew 28:19 – John 4:24 – Romans 1:19 – Romans 1:20 – Ephesians 4:5 – Ephesians 4:6]

God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humans, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus. [Luke 10:21 – Luke 10:22 – Matthew 23:9 – John 3:16 – John 6:27 – Romans 1:7 – 1 Timothy 1:1 – 1 Timothy 1:2 – 1 Timothy 2:5 – 1 Timothy 2:6 – 1 Peter 1:3 – Revelation 1:6]

Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death for our sins, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, continuing intercession for His people and personal visible return. [Matthew 1:18-25 – Luke 1:26-38 – John 1:1 – John 20:28 – Romans 9:5 – Romans 8:39 – 2 Corinthians 5:21 – 1 Peter 2:21-23 – John 20:30 – John 20:31 – Matthew 20:28 – Ephesians 1:4 – Acts 1:11 – Romans 5:6-8 – Romans 6:9 – Romans 6:10 – Hebrews 9:28 – 1 Timothy 3:16]

The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came from the Father and Son to create faith, cleanse and renew hearts, and build a community of love and holiness for all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide. [John 14:16 – John 14:17 – John 14:26 – John 16:9-14 – Romans 8:9 – 1 Corinthians 3:16 – 1 Corinthians 6:19 – Galatians 5:22-26]

The world belongs to God, who created it and sustains it by His providence. Creation is the theatre of God’s glory, displaying His power and majesty. God calls us to discover creation’s resources, to receive these gifts with thanksgiving and delight, and to use them wisely as stewards and caretakers who are responsible to God and to our neighbor. We are created by God in His image and now represent Him on earth. [Genesis 1:1 – Deuteronomy 10:12-14 – Isaiah 40 – Psalm 139 – Romans 1:20 – 2 Corinthians 5:20]

The fall is about sin entering the world and disrupting the natural order of things (creation). All of creation has been adversely affected by it and is distorted, corrupted or perverted in one way or another. When our first parents disobeyed God and sought happiness in the lie of Satan, they brought judgment upon themselves, their posterity and creation. Brokenness, disease, hate, arrogance, alienation, abuse of creation, and ultimately death are some of the fruits of sin in our world. [Genesis 1:3-19 – Romans 8:22 – Romans 6:23 – Romans 5:12 – Galatians 5:19-21]

Life is about returning to our original state of being. It is a journey back home if you will. The supremacy of Jesus is our only hope in finding our way back home. He is our only solution to the problem of sin. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus triumphed over sin and death. He promises to rescue, renew and bring peace to all that have a living faith in Him. [Colossians 1:12-20 – 1 Corinthians 15:3 – 1 Corinthians 15:4 – 1 Corinthians 15:57 – Ephesians 1:7 – Psalm 49:7]

The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Jesus is the head and all believers are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of believers who meet together regularly in small groups and corporately in Celebration services. We believe the church is the hope of the world and that God has given the church the privilege of living the gospel of Jesus to all peoples. [Ephesians 2:19-22 – Acts 1:8 – Ephesians 5:19-21 – Acts 2:42 – Hebrews 10:23-25]

Christian Conduct
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well being of others. That their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of His possessions; and that they should seek in themselves and others a deepening of their vital union with Jesus to full maturity. [1 Corinthians 10:31 – Romans 12:1-3 – Hebrews 12:1 – Hebrews 12:2 – John 14:15 – John 14:23 – John 14:24 – 1 John 2:3-6 – 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 – 1 Corinthians 4:2 – Colossians 1:9 – Colossians 1:1]

Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of Jesus to earth and the establishment of His Kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the renewal of creation, the eternal joy of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked. [Matthew 16:27 – Mark 14:62 – John 14:3 – Acts 1:11 – Philippians 3:20 – 1 Thessalonians 4:15 – 2 Timothy 4:1 – Titus 2:13 – 1 Corinthians 4:5 – 1 Corinthians 4:15 – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 – Revelation 20:4-6 – Revelation 20:11:15]

© 2019 APCH – The American Protestant Church of The Hague. All rights reserved


Statement on How APCH Deals with  Challenging and Divisive Theological and Moral Issues in the Church

The American Protestant Church of The Hague (APCH) is a community of diverse Christians from the global church—from wide-ranging Christian traditions, cultures, and understandings. Given this, we seek to be a congregation living out the unity Christ prays for in his church.[1] So, we encourage each believer or person-seeking-Christ here to grow lovingly, richly, yet humbly together in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  
At the center of our community life, Jesus makes it clear that the summary calling within each of our lives is to love the Lord our God with our whole being and to love our neighbors as ourselves.[2]  This is not primarily a call to uniformity of thought; it is a call to a way of life under God and with each other, to a humble, self-giving, others-receiving love. So, centered within the broad Protestant tradition, we have found this motto helpful for our life together: "In the essentials, unity[3]; in the non-essentials, freedom[4]; and in all things, charity.[5]"

For this congregation, the essentials are:
 —a Christian faith summarized in the Apostles Creed and the APCH Covenant
 —a trust in the living Word of God as the only reliable guide for faith and life
 —a life of humility, mutual respect, and active service as we grow together in Christ

We recognize that there are many issues—theological, moral, and intellectual—that divide the church of Christ and Christians from one another. While there is one living Word of God, there are many interpretations of what that Word means or calls us to.  The members of APCH have been formed by widely diverse traditions and experiences. We each bring our understandings and practices with us into this church, some wanting this church to conform to their particular tradition or personal understandings and practices. But APCH seeks to be a church that welcomes all who seek the grace and Lordship of Jesus in their lives. With that as a core commitment, we are cautious about drawing lines or building walls that divide the church and judge other Christians with different views.  In this rare and diverse Christian community called APCH, Christ teaches us to love, forgive, understand, and help nurture each other in the way of Jesus. It is not always an easy calling, but we believe it is Christ’s beautiful call to us here.

 Some will accuse us of being careless or compromising in our faith. To the contrary, we unite in the clarity and longing that everyone here comes “to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11). We benefit from the diverse traditions and perspectives that have formed the members of APCH, but our goal is not to conform to any individual’s or denomination’s ideas, but together to grow in Christ who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6).

          —While we are a congregation that has developed out of an American and theologically Reformed tradition, and while these remain a part of our congregational DNA, we have grown into a community from all God's people learning from each other. Therefore, as part of the holy catholic church,[6] we seek to live graciously and hospitably with all who come to worship and live the way of God in Christ. We are cautious of the extremes but seek to respect and draw from the many perspectives of God’s people.
             —We believe that most controversial biblical/theological issues are not “the essentials” (e.g., extraordinary spiritual gifts, men and women in leadership, infant/covenant baptism and dedication/believer baptism, and the like). So, here, we seek to live in this diversity without judgment.  And while we are guided by the Christian tradition of this congregation, we are being transformed by Christ for a new generation.      
         —On challenging moral issues (e.g., divorce and remarriage, sexual orientation, Christ-formed financial stewardship and economic justice, etc.), we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, spur each other on to follow him boldly and in joyful obedience, and seek to understand and respect each other when we have differences of understanding. We thank God for the beauty of biblical limits and moral callings in our life in Christ. In many matters, God’s church’s understandings are of one mind, but in others the broader church struggles with differences.  We are all called to grow in a Christ-formed holiness—that is, not in a “churchy goodness” but in a discipleship by which we love God and neighbor above all, and so learn to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8). In those situations where differences threaten to divide us, pastors and Elders will help guide us together.
         —On different intellectual issues (e.g., the value of psychology for understanding ourselves or the nature of our sin, of scientific knowledge informing our understanding of God's creation or a pandemic, and more), we highly value the life of the mind, careful thought, and the gift of respected teachers in such areas.  At the same time, we seek to respect each other in our different understandings as we grow together in faith, knowledge and wisdom.
             —The goal is not that the “lowest common denominator” be accepted as the “truth.” The goal is a growing, mature, beautiful discipleship in Christ for all God’s people, and a community that witnesses to Christ’s grace and transforming life within and among us all for the sake of the world.
              What will this mean for our interactions together, especially when we see “sins” or what one thinks of as “misguided understandings” in other persons?  Some perspectives, attitudes, and commitments will guide us:
             —We realize that we are all imperfect and need Christ’s Word and Spirit for our daily lives,[7] that Christ came not for the “righteous” but for the “sinner” who seeks Jesus’ grace and new life,[8] that discipleship is a lifelong journey,[9] and that our congregation--by its very nature as a missional community seeking to bring many to Christ—will be a holy mishmash of diverse people all learning to “put on Christ” with each other as the Spirit of God grows us in Jesus. This will help us all be humble in our own views, intentional in our own conformity to Christ, and gracious and forbearing with others who are not like us.
             —When someone sins against someone, or hurts us in a way that divides us, we will seek to follow the biblical guidance of Jesus for speaking—and hearing—the truth in love.[10] In the most serious and—we pray—rare situations, the church pastors and Elders will help guide us when we need one another and even the whole congregation to help us address sins or divisions among us.
             —At the same time, we do not believe Jesus “deputizes” any of us to be Pharisee-like judges, pointing our fingers at people whom we declare “sinners.” Attitudes of judgment result in God’s own harsh judgment against those who try to take God’s place in this role.[11] We seek to learn to love.
             —We will firmly resist any calls to become a church known for a social or political agenda. We would be known as a people where Christ is the center of our life and that life extends to bless the world around us in the way the church is led by the Holy Spirit.
             —We give thanks that God has ordained mature and church-recognized servant-leaders to guide the church community in situations that are difficult in the life of the church.  Thus, members will not take matters into their own hands when faced with potentially divisive differences, and will not gossip or form groups to oppose others over issues that might divide many churches.  Rather, when we have a concern about an aspect of the faith and life of APCH, we will seek the wisdom of the pastors and Elders who have the special calling to guide the life of the church.[12]
             —Additionally, there may be times when the pastors and Elders discern that it is important to have organized, well-informed, honest, respectful discussions together on difficult subjects. The goal will be to understand differences within the church, help each other grow in discipleship in Christ, and continue to be a church that seeks the unity which Christ desires.
             —Together, we will hear the Word of God preached; join together in Life Groups or other small, committed gatherings to seek to know, love, and encourage one another in the Christian life; and give thanks that Jesus transforms each of us—sometimes profoundly and in a short time, and sometimes slowly over years and decades—to be the people Jesus has called us to be.

 This is APCH—a Christ-formed international, inter-denominational, and inter-generational church that God has called together. We understand that, for some, accepting this perspective may be challenging.  But we pray that God will inspire us all to live at this rare, beautiful, and sometimes challenging intersection of grace, truth, and love in Christ. For in our imperfection, he alone is our perfection; he is Savior and Lord—of APCH, of the diverse global church, and of the world he loves.  Therefore, “In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, freedom; and in all things, charity.”  May this guide all who enter this community and desire to live to the glory of God, in the grace and beauty of Jesus Christ, with each other, for the sake of the world.

 Approved by the APCH Leadership Council on February 15,  2022
 Scripture References
   [1] John 17:20-23.
   [2] See Mark 12:28-31.
   [3] John 17:20-23, Philippians 4:1-9.
   [4] Acts 15:28-29, Romans 14, I Corinthians 10:23.
   [5] Matthew 22:34-40, I Corinthians 13, I John 3:11-18.
   [6] “I believe in the holy catholic church,” we profess in the Creed. The word “catholic” refers to “the whole Christian church--of all places and all time.” This could be said to include Roman Catholic, Protestant catholic, Orthodox catholic, and more.
   [7] See, for example, Psalm 51, I John 1:5-10.
   [8] See, for example, Mark 2:17.
   [9] See, for example, Philippians 3:12-14.
   [10] See, for example, Matthew 18:15-17.
   [11]See, for example, Matthew 23.
   [12]See, for example, I & 2 Timothy, Titus.