Arriving in early 1983, Keith and Debbie have witnessed wholesale changes in Germany. Political changes, the positioning of troops outside the border for the first time since the second World War, the reunification of East and West Germany following the fall of communism and the Berlin Wall, the implementation of the european-wide common currency are external forces that have brought the society to rethink it's role globally.
Spiritually the nation is firmly secular, further distancing itself from the roots of the reformation. Society has become postmodern; truth has become relative. Only 10% of the population attends church regularly.
This is the challenge facing church-planters in Germany, in Europe as a whole. And yet conditions have never appeared brighter. The challenges are great, but it is possible to establish New Testament congregations.
Working with the postmodern mindset, the presentation of the Gospel must be adapted to the culture. The message does not change, the methods must.
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,)that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 1. Corinthians 9:20-22
The main means of evangelism in our setting are relational. People do not believe the Bible to be an authority in their lives, so this must be shown to be a pragmatic and logical decision. A difference must be exhibitted in the life of the witness, which creates a desire in the heart of others. They are searching for fulfillment and happiness, but are frustrated in their attempt. This relational evangelism requires a tremendous amount of time to be invested sharing the love of Christ in a practical way.
Working with postmoderns requires a teamwork which pulls strengths and talents of many people. The difficulty lies in the fact that postmoderns are independant and reluctant to attach themselves to anything that hints of authority structure. This too takes patience and creativity.
Our strategy is in place with this church plant and now we proceed to the next stage of ministry - teaching the church-plant to plant daughter churches. We desire to create a church-planting movement. Yes, we desire to move to a new beachhead, but first we must take this church through the steps of reaching their surrounding geographical areas.