German Pastors Learning Basics of Church Planting

Post a Comment » Written on May 15th, 2006     
Filed under: News
FARMINGTON HILLS, MI (May 15, 2006) – More than 30 German pastors and several lay people have been attending workshops at Faith Covenant Church here to learn how they might plant churches in their own country.

They are members of the Free Evangelical Church of Germany. Leading the workshops have been Dave Olson, the Covenant director of church planting and Gary Walter, executive minister of the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism.

The workshops are the result of relationships that were developed with German automobile executives from Stuttgart who were temporarily transferred to the United States. Some who began attending Faith Covenant formed part of the core group of the 2004 Christ Community Covenant Church plant. To read an earlier online story of the evolving relationship between the American and German churches, please see German Church.

Since the church was planted, more German transferees have become Christians, but have encountered difficulty in finding churches to attend when they return home. Nathan Pawl, the pastor of Christ Community Covenant, traveled to Germany last year to discuss starting a church in that country.

Planting churches in Germany will prove more difficult than in the United States because Europe has become so secularized, Olson says. “The need is greater, but the difficulty is higher.” To read an earlier online story dealing with challenges in European ministry, please see Immigration Challenges.

Olson recently published a widely reported study that found only 18 percent of Americans attend church on any given Sunday. Despite that low number, it still is far higher than the two percent who attend in Germany, he notes.

Covenant church plants generally are expected to have developed a core group of at least 30 people before starting preview services, but that is the size of most German evangelical congregations. “That’s a big number for them,” Olson observes.

While in the United States, the pastors are staying with host families and are touring several church plants, along with a side trip to Niagara Falls.

The two Covenant churches will send 27 members to Germany next month to help with evangelistic outreach during the World Cup soccer tournament. Fans will be able to watch the games on TV at the churches, which also will offer a number of other activities.

The U.S. contingent will sleep at the churches and their meals will be provided, says Kenneth Larson, pastor of Faith Covenant. He will preach June 11 at one of the churches.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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