Monday, December 20, 2010

The Purpose of Christmas

I wrote an article entitled The Purpose of Christmas a few years ago... and thought you might enjoy it.  Here's a little teaser...

I gave in. What was I thinking? My wife asked (begged) me to go shopping with her on the day after Thanksgiving.  My answer?  Ok, sure.  What was I thinking?!?!  I hate shopping!  Even worse, I had agreed to go with her on the busiest shopping day of the year.  The only reason I can come up with is that if she went, I would be at home alone with all three kids ALL DAY LONG!  Oh well…

What I experienced last Friday was UGLY!  People were pushing, adults were fighting over toys & parking spaces (we saw two guys almost get in a fist fight over a parking space), and sales people were rude.  Honestly, it wasn’t all bad.  There were some people that seemed to have some perspective, but not many we ran into.

A bright spot in our day was when we were seated in a restaurant next to a new mom & her baby.  It just so happened that since our sitter was kind of young, we had our baby with us too.  She and Robin struck up a conversation and it wasn’t long before our conversation turned to spiritual things.  She was feeling guilty and alone (as an unwed mother).  We were able to share about Christ’s love and we invited her to visit our church.  It was a total God-ordained appointment.

Anyway, the whole consumer-driven, commercialized theme of the holiday shopping rush always seems to frustrate me.  I keep asking myself, “Don’t they get it?”  I mean… do they really think that’s what Christmas is all about?  If we look at the Christmas story from its original source, the Bible, we can determine the true meaning of Christmas.  Let’s look at it.  There are two biblical accounts to look at, Matthew 1:18-2:19 and Luke 1:5-2:40.

To read it online, click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Changed little lives

At Watermark we are highly focused on children’s ministry.  They will get high quality resources and leaders. When it comes to a choice between buying something for our kids and buying sound equipment, we always default to purchasing stuff for our kids.  This is paying off richly!!!  In the past six weeks, three kids have come to Christ!

One of them is a high-energy little guy… a happy go lucky, fun little dude named Alex.  But sometimes he is also an EGR child (Extra Grace Required).  He and his little sister live across the street from the church building, and their mom and dad take turns coming with them… sometimes the children even come by themselves.

One afternoon as Robin was praying for Alex, God showed her a glimpse of what his life could look like.  She pictured him as an adult and what he would tell someone about how he came to Christ.  

She pictured him as a young adult telling about this church that started across the street from where he lived.  He said, “I don’t even remember anyone’s name there, but that’s where people loved me and were happy to see me!  I gave my heart to Christ and I’ve never been the same since!”

Actually, last Sunday, Alex did give his heart to Christ!  And his sister did so the week before.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pictures from last Sunday

WhatitMeanstobeaChristian_TITLEWe had a lot of fun last Sunday looking at many of the things people think a Christian is.  We used a lot of props to represent these things.  And Daniel made the perfect illustration of what many people think a real Christian should look like!

Be sure to come back this weekend to see part 2 of “What it means to be a Christian”!DSC02736

Wir hatten letzten Sonntag riesen Spaß, als wir uns angeschaut haben, was viele Menschen denken, was einen Christen ausmacht.

Wir haben das, ohne es respektlos erscheinen zu lassen, veranschaulicht. Daniel hat das perfekt illustriert, was viele Menschen denken, wie ein echter Christ aussehen müsse!

Sei dieses Wochenende wieder dabei um dir Teil 2 von "Was es bedeutet, ein Christ zu sein!" anzuschauen!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Sabbath rest for pastors

hammockIt's Monday... the day of rest for many pastors. Because we don't get Sundays off like everyone else, we need to choose another day.

Actually, taking a day off is one of the Ten Commandments...
“Remember to keep the Sabbath holy." - Exodus 20:8. 

The biblical term is "Sabbath".  It was commanded by God so the people would take a day off to rest and enjoy, rather than just working seven days a week.  And notice that God tells us to keep it holy... He places a spiritual value on it. 

Last week I took my first Sabbath rest in over three months.  Because of all that had to be done I just worked seven days a week.  I knew planting a church would be difficult, but I never realized just how difficult.  There were people to be contacted, calls to be made, emails to send, chairs, children's and musical equipment to be ordered, meetings with our team, city officials and neighbors... The list could go on and on.

Two weeks ago God really started dealing with me about the importance of taking a Sabbath, as He had commanded.  I know the importance of this - I even teach pastors about it.  But it's difficult in the real world to take a true day of rest. (My wife says I should be actually be taking a break from writing this.)  And although my first day of rest was a welcomed break, today has been tough.  It seems as if there's more to do than ever.

It all comes down to faith... faith that God will enable us to do more in the remaining six days than we could have done in seven days.  This is not easy.  But God calls us to trust Him.  And He knows what is best for us.  The Bible says that Jesus came "to give us life - more and better life than we could ever have on our own!"  If we believe this, we’ll do what He says…

So pastors, now you have a choice... Will you obey and take a Sabbath?  Or will you keep on doing what we've been doing?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who we’re reaching… (from Robin)

imageIn our opening service we had a large number of visitors.  One lady was forced to go to her mom's Catholic church as a child and, therefore, hated church. 

She lived as a prostitute for a couple of years and was until now an alcoholic and drug addict.  When she got our postcard in her mailbox, she felt like it was a "sign" from God.  She knew that she had to come on Sunday. 

When Jon spoke about the type of people that Jesus hung out with, her heart was overwhelmed.  She thought... maybe this Jesus isn't mad at me after all I've done. 

She feels very unworthy to have anything to do with "church people", or God for that matter.  She was so excited that there is the opportunity for a new start to life that she asked me to pray with her two times... just so she could make sure that she was saved! 

She was just hyper from all that God did on Sunday and said that still on Thursday "something is happening" to me.  She is so excited that she is dragging her boyfriend to church with her this Sunday (and anyone else that she can find). 

I just wanted to share this with you because she is why we do what we do.  Remember back to when you first gave your heart to Christ!  Let's just keep loving Jesus together... it's contagious!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We did it!

I just wanted to give you a quick update on yesterday’s opening service.image

In the last month our team distributed 5000 invitations (flyers) in both the city center (with a piece of chocolate) and in our neighborhood mailboxes.  With our limited budget, we could only afford 5000, and we distributed them by hand.  We had 104 people in attendance… about 60% students.  And not counting the 35 that were helping us, that gives us a success rate on the flyers of 1.4% (5 times the normal success rate of direct mail in America).  We also used a lot of Facebook marketing.  To see some of the artwork we used & pics of the launch service, click here:

Another thing that was very successful was to invite the church neighbors to a free grill party at our building two weeks before the launch.  We told them we wanted to introduce ourselves and let them know that we were here to give, not take from the community.  It opened some great opportunities for conversation.  One guy and I had a long conversation about what a church should look like.  I explained that if it is to represent the biblical Jesus, it should be “ridiculously generous”.  He said that was an interesting thought… he also brought his family to the opening service and said he loved it!

There were a few minor technical glitches, but the service was a huge success!  Afterward we had some amazing conversations with both neighbors and other visitors.  As a matter of fact, when asked what she thought, one young lady told one of our team members, “There is not one thing I can think of that I would change about this church!” 

LaunchServiceThe best part is that one lady gave her heart to Christ!!!  (There could have been more, but we haven’t heard back from our team members yet.)  When she received our postcard, she said to herself: “This is a sign from God that He hasn’t forgotten about me!”  She is fighting an addiction to alcohol and drugs.  And she cried the entire service.

I want to thank those of you that have prayed, given and supported what God has asked us to do.  It is humbling to be a part of what God is doing here in Freiburg, Germany.  We were told what we accomplished couldn’t be done: “You can’t expect that many people to show up.” “No one will come to Christ for a long time.”  “This city is full of empty churches… what makes you think you can fill yours?”

It has been an exhausting journey, but totally worth it.  And as I told our team, it is an awesome privilege to be able to introduce Christ to people that are far from Him.  I can’t say enough how proud I am of our team.  I would unashamedly put our team up against any church planting team in the world!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Sunday Thoughts

Today was amazing!  We had a “practice service”, followed by a grill out for the neighborhood.

The practice service went well.  Of course there were mistakes made and things that didn’t work out like we wanted.  But this is the very reason we wanted to do a “dress rehearsal” of what our first service should look like.  Our team did a great job of making sure everything that needed to happen happened.

Then there was a grill party for the neighborhood.  It was amazing!  We had about 85-90 people there altogether.  It was money well-spent.  We want to create a missional church… this was an awesome start!

I was so proud of our team… they went out of their way to engage our guests in conversation and get to know them.  What an outstanding day it was!  We have the best team in the world!!!  I can’t wait to see what God will do through them!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our first baptism!!!

Here’s the video of Stefy’s baptism (see the previous post for the story)…

Stefy's baptism (on her 20th birthday!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This never gets old!

Today was awesome!  First we had our mini-service/Launch Team meeting, which was attended by 8 visitors.  Then we had a great lunch, followed by a baptism.


Stefy is one of our Launch Team members from Ecuador (Freiburg University Student).  She told of how she grew up in church and in a Christian school, but walked away from God.  When her cousin died she realized what she had been missing… her relationship with God.  So she recommitted her life to Him.

And today I was able to baptize her… on her 20th birthday!

What is amazing about this is that we haven’t even officially launched our church and already we’re functioning like one!  Soon we’ll post the video from today.

If you’re in the Freiburg area, be sure to check out our website:  There’s always room on our team for more people that have a heart to bring Christ’s love to the Freiburg area.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Eine To-Do-Liste für Gemeindegründer

Viele Gemeinden sind dafür bekannt, gegen was sie sind und nicht wofür sie stehen. Heute möchte ich euch eine "To-Do"-Liste für Gemeindegründer mit auf den Weg geben. Diese Dinge müssen wir berücksichtigen, wenn wir eine Gemeinde gründen wollen, die Freiburg zum Guten verändern soll.

1. Sei ein Träumer - Träumen lässt uns wie Gott werden. Vergleich 1.Mose 1:3. Gott sieht Dinge, die noch gar nicht existieren und spricht sie dann in Existenz.

- die größte Angst ein Gemeindegründer zu sein ist die Tatsache, dass man eine leere Seite vor sich ist noch überhaupt nichts festgelegt, außer Gottes Traum einer Gemeinde. Das Risiko zu Versagen ist ein natürlicher Bestandteil dieses Vorhabens. Aber die möglichen Gewinne sind unglaublich groß!

- das beste ist die leere ist noch überhaupt nichts festgelegt, außer Gottes Traum einer Gemeinde. Das ist sozusagen eine Einladung für große Träume!

- Was könnte man erreichen, wenn Geld, Helfer und Räumlichkeiten überhaupt kein Problem wären?

- Was träumst du? Wenn du nicht jetzt schon davon träumst, wirst du es nie haben! Als ich für Watermark gebetet habe, sprach Gott folgendes zu meinem Herz: "Einer muss den ersten Schritt machen, einer muss die Sache ins Rollen bringen!"

2. Sei flexibel - Wir versuchen natürlich für alle möglichen Probleme gewappnet zu sein, aber die Dinge verlaufen oft ganz anders wie geplant. Deshalb müssen wir flexibel bleiben.

- Apostelgeschichte 16:25-28 - Die Bekehrung des Kerkermeisters passierte, weil Paulus und sein Team total flexibel waren, als Gott ihnen nicht erlaubte in bestimmten Gebieten zu evangelisieren (vgl. Apostelgeschichte 16, 6-10)

- Was, wenn wir mehr als 200 Mitarbeiter wären? (Natürlich kommen sie nicht ohne Einladung!)

- Was, wenn der Ton nicht funktioniert?

- Was, wenn die Kaffemaschine ihren Geist aufgibt?

- Wir müssen diese "Was, wenn"-Situationen so gut wie möglich durchdenken. Die Umstände berücksichtigen und uns dann, wenn nötig ggf. neu platzieren bzw. anpassen.

3. Sei ein Erfinder - Das passiert ganz automatisch, wenn du flexibel bleibst. Hör nie auf nach besseren Wegen zu suchen, für das was du odere andere tuen.

- Offenbarung 13:8 Jesus war das Lamm, dass geofpert wurde bevor der Weltgründung. Gott hatte die kreative Lösung bevor das Problem überhaupt auftrat.

- Wir sollten ständig nach besseren, schnelleren und billigeren Möglichkeiten für das was wir tun Ausschau halten.

- Wenn wir aufhören Sachen zu erfinden, dann bleiben wir stehen und sind nichts weiter als eine Arbeitsbiene.

- Leiter denken, Arbeiter tuen

Gott hat mir einmal gezeigt, dass Gemeindegründer ihm sehr ähnlich sind...sie bauen etwas aus dem Nichts. Wir sollten beten, dass Gottes Kreativität, die durch den Heiligen Geist in uns ist, sich entfaltet und lebendig wird. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A To-Do List For Church Planters

So often churches are known for what they’re against, rather than what they’re for. Today I’m going to give you a “To-Do” list for church planters (and launch teams). Here are things that we must do if we’re going to successfully plant a church that impacts the Freiburg area.

1. Be a dreamer – Dreaming makes us like God! Genesis 1:3 He sees things that aren’t even there and speaks them into existence.

  • The scariest thing about being a church planter is that you’ve got a blank page… there’s absolutely nothing written on it but God’s dream for your church. The risk of failure is a very real part of the game. But the potential rewards are huge!
  • The exciting thing is that you’ve got a blank page… there’s absolutely nothing written on it but God’s dream for your church. This is God’s invitation to dream BIG!
  • What could we do if money, people, and facilities were no object?
  • What do you dream about? If you can’t see it you’ll never have it! As I was praying about Watermark God spoke to my heart. He said, “Somebody’s got to be the first one. Someone has to start the ball rolling.”

2. Be flexible – We are attempting to prepare for any problems that may arise, but things rarely turn out like you plan. We MUST be flexible.

  • Acts 16:25-28 happened because Paul and his team were flexible when God wouldn’t allow them to go into certain areas with the Gospel (Acts 16:6-10).
  • What if we have 200+ people at our launch? (They won’t come if we don’t invite them!)
  • What if the sound doesn’t work?
  • What if we have too many kids?
  • What if the coffee pots don’t work?
  • We need to think through the “what ifs” as much as possible. But we need to be able to “read the defense” and adjust as necessary.

3. Be an innovator – This is a natural result of being flexible. Never stop looking for better ways to do what you’re doing… and even what others are doing.

  • Revelation 13:8 Jesus was “the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world.” God came up with a creative solution before the problem even existed.
  • We have to constantly look for a better, faster, cheaper alternative to what we’re doing now.
  • When you stop innovating, you start declining. And you become nothing more than a worker bee.
  • Leaders think; workers do.

God once told me that church planters are like Him… they create something out of nothing. We need to pray that God’s creativity which is resident in us (through the Holy Spirit) would come alive in us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A good day!

Robin and I drove to Mannheim today to pick up some Stehtische (Bistro tables that you stand around).  We had purchased them on eBay, and got a great deal.  When we arrived, we not only got the agreed-upon 10, but an 11th table free.

Thomas, the owner of the auction house selling the tables, then sold us some regular bistro tables dirt cheap, and tossed in some poster frames and a large bolt of metallic fabric for us to use as stage decoration for free!  What a super nice guy!  We really liked him.

We’re seeing more and more often that God is opening doors for us to get what we need for the launch.  Keep praying… it’s making a difference!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Der Wert der Kinder (Mitarbeitertreffen am 5.September 2010)

Kinder sind von Bedeutung für Gott

In Markus 9,33-37 und 10,13-16 lesen wir, dass obwohl die Jünger Jesu Kinder als Ablenkung ansehen, sie für Jesus wichtig sind. In Markus 10 steht, dass Jesus aufgebracht ist, weil die Jünger sowohl die Kinder als auch die Eltern weggescheucht haben. Denkt mal darüber muss schon einiges passieren, damit Jesus ärgerlich wird. Was haben sie angestellt? Sie haben versucht die Kindern von Jesus fernzuhalten. Kinder sind Gott nicht nur wichtig, sondern unheimlich wertvoll.  Wenn sie Gott schon so unglaublich wertvoll sind, dann sollten sie uns genau so wertvoll sein!

Die Investition in Kinder ist eine Investition in die Zukunft

Kinder sind eher bereit ihr Herz Jesus Christus zu übergeben mehr als jede andere Altersgruppe. Ihre geistliche Weltsicht entwickelt sich immer noch. Die Arbeit mit Kindern ist vergleichbar mit der Arbeit mit Lehm, die Arbeit mit Erwachsenen vergleichbar mit der Arbeit mit Statuen. Natürlich ist jede Bekehrung ein Fest, egal wer, egal wann. Wenn sich jedoch ein Kind für Jesus entscheidet, dann kann ein ganzes Leben die Welt beeinflussen!

Wir investieren in Kinder

Weil Gott so einen großen Wert auf Kinder legt, wollen auch wir einen Schwerpunkt unserer Gemeindearbeit auf den Kinderdienst legen. Der Kinderdienst soll viele Ressourcen und nur die besten Mitarbeiter bekommen, deshalb stecken wir viel Kraft, Energie und Werbung in unseren Kinderdienst. Mein größtes Gebetsanliegen ist keine Rock´n´Roll Lobpreisband, obwohl ich natürlich eine große Leidenschaft dafür habe, sondern für Menschen, die uns helfen Gottes Liebe den Kindern weiter zu geben.

Eins unser Motto´s wird lauten: Wir dienen Kindern...Punkt!  Und nur nebenbei erwähnt, wir haben auch Gottesdienste für Erwachsene ;)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Value of Kids (Launch Team Mtg 5-Sept-2010)

Kids matter to God

In Mark 9:33-37 and Mark 10:13-16 we read that although Jesus’ disciples saw children as a distraction, He considered them important.  As a matter of fact, in the account in Mark 10, it says that when the disciples shooed the parents and children away, it made Jesus furious.

Think about this… you have to do a lot in order to make Jesus angry!  What did they do?  They tried to keep the kids from bothering Jesus.  Kids are not just important, but incredibly valuable to God!  If they are this valuable to Him, they MUST be this valuable to us!

Investing in kids is an investment in the future

Kids are much more likely than any other age group to commit their hearts to Christ.  And their spiritual worldview is still being formed.  It’s almost as if working with kids is like working with clay, while working with adults is like working with statues.  And although we celebrate anytime anyone commits their heart to Christ, when a child comes to Christ, you have an entire life that can impact the world!

We invest in kids

Because of the value that God puts on children, we have to make a solid kids ministry a focus at Watermark… they will get plenty of resources, the best people and a lot of our advertising and energy. My greatest prayer isn’t for a rockin’ music team (although I am passionate about this)… it’s for people that will help us love on kids!

One of our mantras will be: We minister to kids... period! Oh, and by the way…we also have services for adults…

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We have a building!!!!

Watermark building inside

We finally signed the building lease!  This picture gives you an idea of how big it is.  It used to be a fitness training center for kids.  We’re in the rezoning process right now.

It even came with a homeless guy that lives outside, next to the building!  It was quite a shock to us.  We believe the lawyer that was there with us took care of it.  But we’ll get him help, if needed ;-)

We still need about $11,000 USD before our launch date (Oct 24) in order to prepare for the precious people God will send us.  If you feel God would have you invest in unchurched people in Freiburg, you can donate through our website.

Please also pray with us for wisdom, favor and creativity as we prepare for an amazing church launch!  If you’re interested in being a part of the Launch Team, please contact us!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Launch Team Meeting – 29-Aug-2010

podcast Here is the mp3 of the Launch Team Meeting from last Sunday’s meeting… “What is a life worth?” (with translation)

Hier ist die mp3 von der Launch Team Meeting der am letzten Sonntag stattfand… “Was ist ein Leben eigentlich Wert?” (mit Übersetzung)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

But God…

We often say things like, “I know God is big, but…”  It’s so easy to look at our current circumstances and get scared.  We feel like we’re going to be swallowed up by the things going on around us.

tombLet’s go back to grade school grammar… remember conjunctions?  Conjunctions join two parts of a sentence (or two sentences) together.  One conjunction is “but”.  This three letter word has amazing power.

You could say, “I like you, but your breath is bad.”  Or something like, “Your mom is nice, but she can be annoying.”  In each of these sentences, the word “but” negates what came before it.  In other words, whatever comes before the “but” is unimportant.  It’s what comes after the “but” that counts.

Look at the following Bible verses…

You, with the help of wicked men, put [Jesus] to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead.
Acts 2:23-24

By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
Eph 2:3-5

In each of these passages, we see the phrase “But God.”  Notice that when He comes on the scene, everything changes.  Wrongs are righted, lives are changed, and things that were dead are made alive again!

We can look at the circumstances Watermark is facing right now:

  • We only have 22 people involved.
  • Since Watermark is unknown, we have no influence in the community.
  • Our financial resources are limited.
  • We have no building yet. (But we’re working on it!)

With each of these, we could say, “I know God is big, but…”  We instead choose to say, “These things seem big, but God…!”  What matters is what comes after the “but”! 

Our confidence is that although things look tough right now, there’s still the “but God” at the end of our journey!  God has already done some miraculous things to bring our team together… just wait 'til you see what He does through Watermark!

Beginning Aug. 29 we’ll have weekly team meetings on Sundays at 11:00am, up until our church launch on Oct. 24.  If you’re in the Freiburg area, we’d love to have you join us!  Contact us for more information.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


frustratingWe got a Facebook message from some friends that went through the same church planter training I did (with  Their church is now 5 mos old and doing well, although not yet as big as they had imagined it would be.

One of the things they told me was that the entire process was “really hard in so many ways (way more than we could have ever anticipated or anyone could have communicated), but also rewarding.”

I must admit that this is a bit unnerving.  I know it’s not going to be easy.  I know there will be times we want to give up.  But hearing from someone just a few months ahead of us in the process that it’s REALLY tough kinda gets your attention.

It makes us rethink why we’re doing this.  We KNOW that Watermark is God’s idea, so we’re staying with it.  We’re going to not just persevere and survive, but thrive.  I believe that most churches that fail don’t make it because the people just give up.  I don’t want that said of me.

All that said, we welcome your prayers.  We know the road ahead won’t be easy, but we’re committed.  We want to finish well!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Launch Team Meeting – 1 Aug 2010

Here is the mp3 of the Launch Team Meeting from last Sunday’s meeting… “We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be sick.”

Hier ist die mp3 von der Launch Team Meeting der am letzten Sonntag stattfand… “Wir haben uns vergessen wie es sich fuhlt Krank zu werden.” (Leider nur auf Englisch)

Feeling stuck?

New Perrin Ministries Blog: Feeling Stuck -

Friday, August 6, 2010

What to do when you don’t know what to do

New Perrin Ministries Blog: “What to do when you don't know what to do” -

Monday, July 26, 2010

No strings attached!

One of the things I’ve been processing lately is the importance of serving people as Jesus did… with no strings attached.

Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him.
                                                                              Acts 10:38

So often churches use what many refer to as “bait and switch” tactics: You invite someone over for dinner or a party, and then spend the evening “witnessing” to them.  Or they invite someone to a party or some other kind of fun activity, but they have to attend a church service first.  At the very least there is an expectation that they come to a service at a later date. 

imageBut what would it look like if a church served and loved people with no strings attached?  If it just served people in order to live as Jesus did?  If it helped people, counseled people, fed people, performed weddings, etc. just because it is the right thing to do?

I think it would help the world around us lower its defenses when it comes to Christianity.  It would make it easier to engage people on spiritual topics.  It might even open the door for people far from God to come check out a church.  And we want Watermark to be that church!

Monday, July 19, 2010

19 July 2010 Launch Team Mtg

We had an awesome time with many of the launch team members yesterday at Justin and JJay’s apartment. They have an incredible apartment with a huge balcony overlooking a castle, an old church and the “bath houses” of Badenweiler.

We talked about the four “core values” of the church.

1) A SAFE PLACE – to discover a relationship with God. We talked about how the style of the church will be one with a totally unchurched person in mind... and without “churchy” language.

2) FAMILY ORIENTED – where kids can feel like they’re the center of attention or the “Superstar” for an hour and a half on Sunday mornings.  We want to be a fun, safe place for kids to experience God.

3) MISSIONAL LIVING – we want the entire church to be involved in ministry of some kind. We believe that everywhere we go in our daily lives is our “mission field”.  We don’t want to do church... we want to BE the church.

4) AUTHENTIC FAITH – not television evangelist faith... but how to trust God in the daily details of our lives when we need to pay bills, struggle in our relationships, etc.  And this faith will be characterized by taking calculated risks for the Kingdom.  God is not honored by small-minded, play-it-safe, comfort zone faith.

In Matthew 14 we read the story of Jesus walking on the water.  When Peter realized it was Jesus, he asked Jesus to call him to come.  Jesus called him; and Peter responded.  Although the boat was filled with disciples, Peter was the only one willing to take a huge risk and get out of the boat.  And he was also the only human ever to walk on the water besides Jesus.  The higher the risk, the higher the reward!

Each of the team members shared their passion for a certain area of the ministry and how they could get involved. Then, we talked about how we can serve the community and how to get the word out about the church in different ways. They had some incredibly creative ideas. What an awesome and diverse team that God is raising up here!

We also talked about meeting every Sunday for a short service and then break off into a few groups to talk about the area of ministry that each is involved in. We are adding people each week that are interested in helping us launch....or that are just checking it out. Everyone is welcome at these meetings!

God is so good! We have found a building that is incredible. We are working on getting city approval to meet there, funding, getting our non-profit status, buying equipment, etc.


  • That the city officials approve a “church” in this area and that they will work with us concerning handicap accessibility.
  • That a few of the team members would be accepted into the University of Freiburg or the job internship that they desire in the Freiburg area.
  • Housing for the interns (and a few others) that are raising support to come help us.
  • Provision for those that are now raising support to come join us.
  • More team members so that we can start with a bang.
  • Talented musicians to join the team because good music is at the heart of what we are doing.
  • Direction for all of us because we are “stepping out of the boat” while we try to create a type of church that we have never seen here before!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ein sicherer Ort

Super Neuigkeiten: Gott hat ein Wunder für Camila getan. Die Freiburger Uni hatte ihr eigentlich gesagt, dass es überhaupt keine Möglichkeit gibt dieses Jahr ihr Studium anzufangen, da sie noch weitere Credits in einem Kurs in Heidelberg sammeln müsse, um zugangsberechtigt zu sein. Camila hat jedoch eine Email erhalten in der steht, dass sie doch akzeptiert wird. Das heißt, dass Camila hier in Freiburg bleiben kann und uns weiterhin bei der Gemeindegründung helfen wird. Gibt es einen besseren Weg die Gemeinde anzufangen als mit der Macht Gottes?

Unser Team besteht zur Zeit aus 15 Leuten, außerdem sind 8 weitere Personen am überlegen entweder sich selbst zu engagieren oder sammeln Geld, um sich uns hier in Deutschland anzuschließen. 

Was das Gebäude betrifft...wir treffen uns mit einem Architekten, um zu sehen inwieweit das Gebäude für unsere Zwecke umgebaut werden muss, so dass wir es als Gemeinde benutzen können. Soweit sieht es ganz gut aus. Es scheint so als ob uns der Baumeister wohlgesonnen ist. Er hat uns ein paar Vorschläge gegeben, die uns helfen, die Erlaubnis für das Gebäude zu bekommen. Trotzdem müssen wir noch viele Spenden sammeln, aber Gott schenkt uns Gunst überall wohin wir uns wenden!

Zum Schluss hier noch ein kleines Protokoll vom letzten Treffen, für jene, die es nicht geschafft haben zu kommen.


Eph. 4:11-12, 16 (Hoffnung für Alle)

11 Einige hat er zu Aposteln gemacht, einige reden in Gottes Auftrag prophetisch, und andere gewinnen Menschen für Christus. Wieder andere leiten die Gemeinde oder unterweisen sie im Glauben. 12 Sie alle sollen die Christen für ihren Dienst ausrüsten, damit die Gemeinde Jesu aufgebaut und vollendet wird…… 16 Er versorgt den Leib und verbindet die Körperteile miteinander. Jedes Einzelne leistet seinen Beitrag. So wächst der Leib und wird aufgebaut in Liebe.

  • Gemeinden wachsen und erfüllen ihre Berufung, wenn alle Personen involviert sind. Beachte: "Jedes Einzelne leistet seinen Beitrag..."
  • Viele Gemeinden haben ihren Schwerpunkt auf dem Pastor und seinen/ihren Gaben. Watermarks Fokus liegt auf den Menschen, es geht nicht um Robin und mich!
    • Denn unsere Aufgabe ist es, euch zu helfen euren Platz zu finden und euch dabei zu helfen, eure Gaben für Gottes Ehre einzusetzen.
    • Wir werden mit euch Hand in Hand arbeiten, unser Fokus liegt aber auf unserer Vision und unseren Werten, Menschen zu befähigen und ihnen zu helfen ihre Gaben für das Königreich Gottes zu gebrauchen.
  • Wir wollen Leben verändern. Deshalb fragen wir uns nicht, was wir von ihnen bekommen, sondern was wir ihnen geben können.
  • Mit diesem Gedanken im Hinterkopf wollen wir nun über unsere Werte/Grundsätze sprechen...wir wollen, dass die Gemeinde ein sicherer Ort ist, um die Beziehung zu Gott zu erforschen.
    • Wir müssen uns vorstellen, wie es sich anfühlt als Besucher in eine Gemeinde zu kommen, insbesondere, wenn man normalerweise in keine Gemeinde geht oder an traditionelle Gottesdienste gewöhnt ist. Wie fühlen sich die Menschen wenn sie in die Gemeinde kommen, was denken sie? Welche Ängste und Hoffnungen haben sie?
    • Wir wollen "Benutzer-freundlich" sein. Das alte MS DOS Programm war schwer bedienbar, es sei denn man war ein Programmierer. Seit Windows und MAC Programmen kann nun wirklich jeder einen Computer benutzen...das meinen wir, wenn wir sagen die Gemeinde soll "Benutzer-freundlich" sein. Wir wollen das Watermark eine Gemeinde ist, mit der jeder - unabhängig vom Hintergrund oder Erfahrung- gerne in Kontakt kommt und jeder eine Beziehung zu Gott finden kann. Deshalb müssen wir folgende Punkte neu überdenken:
      • Sprache
      • Image (Aussehen, Atmosphäre, etc.)
      • Schilder („Toiletten“, „Kinderkirche“, „Krabbelstube“, etc.)
      • Einstellung - das Leben von vielen ist ein einziges Durcheinander, besonders von denen die keine Beziehung zu Christus haben. Wir müssen barmherzig und gnädig sein. Wir müssen uns daran erinnern, dass wir alle eine Entwicklung machen und alle Probleme haben.
    • Wir wollen die freundlichste Gemeinde der Stadt sein. Das hilft uns "klebend" zu bleiben, denn wegen Beziehungen bleiben Menschen "kleben"! 

A safe place

Awesome news: God worked a miracle for CM.  The Freiburg Uni had told her there was absolutely no way she would be accepted as a student this year… that she would have to take additional classes in Heidelberg for a year first.  She just received an email saying she would be accepted.  That means she will be here to help us launch the church.  What better way to start a church than with a display of God’s power?!?!

And our Launch Team is now up to 15 people, with an additional 8 people that are either considering getting involved or are raising money to be able to join us here.

Concerning the building… we are meeting with an architect to see what needs to be upgraded in order for us to be able to use it as a church building.  So far, things are looking good.  We seem to have favor with the Zoning Commissioner (Baumeister).  He gave us a couple of suggestions to help get the permit for the building.  We still need to raise a lot of money, but God is giving us favor everywhere we turn.

Finally, for those that weren’t able to make the meeting last Sunday night, here are the notes from the meeting (we didn’t record it).


Eph 4:11-12, 16 (NLT) 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ…. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

· Churches grow and fulfill their destiny when every person gets involved.  Notice: “As each part does its special work…”

· Many churches are focused around the pastor and his/her gifts.  Watermark is in the business of building people; it’s not all about Robin and me!

    • Our job is to help you find your place and help you use your gifts to God’s glory.
    • We’ll be working alongside you; but our job isn’t so much to do the work as it is to keep our focus on the vision and values, to train people, and to help them use their gifts for God’s Kingdom.
  • We’re in the business of changed lives. It MUST BE about what we can put into them, not what we can get out of them.
  • With that in mind, let’s start looking at our core values… the first one we want to talk about is “Being a safe place to investigate a relationship with God”
    • We need to think through what it would be like to be a first-time visitor in a church… esp. if you’ve not used to church, or are used to a traditional church.  What are unchurched people thinking/feeling when they come in?  What fears/hopes do they have?
    • We need to be “user-friendly”!  Old DOS computer programs were difficult to use unless you were a programmer.  But since Windows and Mac operating systems came along, now anyone can use a computer… this is what we mean by user-friendly!  We want Watermark to be a church that anyone – regardless of their background or experience – can connect with and find / develop a relationship with God.
    • This means rethinking / redefining our
      • Language
      • Brand (look, feel, etc)
      • Signage – Toilets, children’s church and nursery areas,
      • Attitude – People’s lives are messy… especially those that don’t have a relationship with Christ.  We need to be grace-giving.  We have to remember that we are all in process and have issues we’re working through.
    • We want to be the friendliest church in town.  This helps us become “sticky”... it’s relationships that cause people to stick!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Evolving websites...

As we said, this blog will record the thoughts we’re processing as we head into our first church plant in Germany.  Two main website thoughts today:

1. As our church plant transitions out of the initial fundraising phasewm_website into the recruiting and branding/marketing phase, we need to adjust our website.  Up to this point the website has been a lot about us, since investors need to buy in to the leader before they’ll seriously consider supporting a church plant.  We still need to raise a large amount of funds just to launch the church, but it’s time to start looking at the people God has called us to reach.

So we’re changing our website focus from investors to our target audience: young adults and young families.  We don’t want this to be a personality-driven church... it needs to be a Christ-centered, people-driven church.  This means it must be about more than just the Perrin Family.  Which also means that our website has to change.  You should start noticing some of these changes soon.

2. Our ministry website needs to change... as we look to attract more shareholders in the corporate vision, we have to step it up in  the area of our personal ministry website.  Six months ago I grew tired of the “nice and clean, just like everyone else” look of our pm_websitewebsite, so I changed to a more grunge theme.  But recently I stepped back and looked at it through the eyes of a potential investor. 

I realized that the Perrin Ministries Website may look cool to a younger crowd (at least that is what I was shooting for), but it doesn’t reflect someone who wants to be taken seriously by international investors.  This means you’ll be noticing some changes in the Perrin Ministries website as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Ich wollte euch einfach mitteilen wie es heute gelaufen ist! Wir haben uns nämlich eine Halle angeschaut, die für Watermark in Erwägung kommt...die Halle hat einen großen Raum, drei kleinere Büroräume und eine kleine Teeküche. Die Miete ist verhältnismäßig günstig und die Halle ist verfügbar. Andererseits muss noch einiges an Arbeit hineingesteckt werden, bevor wir einziehen könnten. Wenn wir uns aber für diese Halle entscheiden, müssten wir nicht unserer ganze Ausstattung und Technik jede Woche mitbringen. Das wäre nämlich der Fall, wenn wir eine andere Halle oder Gebäude mieten würden. Natürlich ist das ganze noch nicht unter Dach und Fach...der Immobilienmakler muss noch mit dem Besitzer sprechen. Aber es ist ein Schritt in die richtige Richtung.

Bitte betet weiter für Weisheit und Gunst bezüglich Gottes Willen für einen Versammlungsort. Außerdem bauen wir unseren Verein (e.V.) auf. Darüber werden wir euch natürlich auch weiter informieren. Unsere Website ( ist online, wird aber immer wieder bearbeitet bzw. verändert. Zurzeit liegt der Fokus der Website auf der Spendensammlung in den USA, deshalb gibt es viele Informationen über uns. Wir werden bald damit anfangen die Informationen zu verändern, so dass sie auf die Menschen abgestimmt sind, die wir erreichen wollen!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The search for a building

I wanted to let you know about how things went today. We looked at a warehouse that might work for Watermark... it has a big main room, three side rooms and a small kitchen. It’s low-priced and it’s available. Having said that, it also will need some work done to it before we can move in. But if we end up with this building, we won’t have to move our equipment in and out each week as we would if we rented a Hall or something like that. It’s definitely not a finished deal… the realtor still needs to talk with the owner. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Please continue to pray for wisdom and favor as we seek God’s will for a meeting place. We are also setting up our e.V. We will keep you updated as things progress. Our website ( is working, but we still have to change some things. At this point it’s focused on raising fund from the US so there’s a lot of information about us. We’ll start changing it soon to better attract the crowd we’re trying to reach.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gemeinde Stil

Ich habe kürzlich mit einem Pastor über die Art von Gemeinde, die wir in Freiburg gründen wollen, gesprochen. Ich habe ihm erklärt, dass die Gemeinde ein sicherer Platz sein soll, um die eigene Beziehung zu Gott zu erforschen. Das ist einer unserer Grundsätze.

Er meinte, dass das Evangelium an sich eine offensive Botschaft ist. Ich habe ihm zugesichert, dass ich Ihn verstanden habe. Jesus selbst hat sehr deutlich gemacht, dass Er der einzige Weg ist. Viele Gemeinde nutzen aber genau das als Entschuldigung, um zu erklären warum Nichtgläubige ihre Gottesdienste nicht besuchen (oder nicht wiederkommen wenn sie sie besucht haben), wenn es im Grunde vielmehr die Art bzw. der Stil von Dienst ist den sie anbieten.

Ich will keineswegs implizieren, dass wir besser sind als andere Gemeinden, sondern unseren Auftrag, zu dem Gott uns berufen hat, unterstreichen: Die Ungläubigen erreichen!

Wir alle wollen so sein wie gab einen Grund dafür, dass Prostitutierte, Steuersammler (Mafia) und andere "Sünder" sich in seiner Nähe wohlgefühlt haben. Er war gütig, annehmend und authenisch genug um mit ihnen in Kontakt zu kommen. Genau das dürfen wir niemals vergessen!

Wir werden die Botschaft des Evangeliums nicht kompromittieren! Gleichzeitig bin ich aber definitiv nicht mit einem Dienst einverstanden, der eine verlorene Person vergrault. Wir werden keine Ausreden für unseren Art von Gemeinde, zu der Gott uns berufen hat, machen. Wenn jede Gemeinde (Gruppe von Gläubigen) genau das ist, zu dem Gott sie berufen hat, dann können wir Freiburg verändern!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Style issues

I was talking with a pastor recently about the type of church we are planting in Freiburg.  I explained how one of our core values is for our church to be a safe place to investigate a relationship with God.

He said, “Well, the Gospel itself is an offensive message.”  I told him that I understood what He meant.  Jesus was quite clear that He is the only way.  But so many churches use this an excuse to explain why the unchurched aren’t visiting their services (or coming back if they do visit), when it’s really the style of ministry they offer.  I don’t want to imply that we’re better than other churches, it’s just that we’re laser-focused on who God has called us to reach –- the unchurched!

We all want to be like Jesus... well there was a reason that prostitutes, tax collectors (mafia) and other “sinners” felt comfortable around Him.  He was gracious, accepting and authentic enough to connect with them.  We must never forget this!

We will not compromise the message of the Gospel!  But I am absolutely NOT okay with having a ministry style that scares off a lost person.  We will not make excuses for the type of church God has called us to be.  When each church (group of believers) is being what God has called it to be, we can change Freiburg!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Photoshop is a wonderful thing!

JonwithAbsI asked Aaron, our friend who is doing the brochures for our upcoming church plant Watermark Church – Freiburg, if he could photoshop out a little bit of my stomach flab in this picture… this is what he came up with.  What do you think?

That’s funny… I don’t care you ya are!


I’m on the first stop on my initial fundraising/recruiting trip to the USA. I had a couple of awesome meetings yesterday with three pastors from Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC, USA (one of the fastest growing churches in the country). Jet lag made it a bit more difficult to to engage but I was excited to learn!

The first was with Jerry McSwain, one of the Small Group Pastors at the church. His views about what church should look like are a bit different than mine, but it was a very helpful meeting. I’m learning that if I’ll let go of my preconceived ideas, it’ll be easier to think outside of the box. Plus, he said some things that really challenged me. And if I had just shut down when I realized his view of what a church should be was different than mine, I would have missed out on God shaking me up a bit.

Then I met with Mac Lake & Jon Hohm, the Leadership Development Pastor & the Youth Pastor. Mac explained both their leadership development mindset and their model for accomplishing it. He walked me through the genesis (origin) and development of their current model, which helped me to better understand the thinking behind it. I like the fact that they’re always tweaking things to make them better rather than leaving well enough alone.

All in all, it was painfully obvious that we have a long way to go… but it was encouraging to talk with others that have travelled this path before.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wireless microphones…

The FCC has implemented new regulations concerning wireless frequencies and the use of wireless microphones.  If your church has some GOOD, high quality wireless microphones you can donate them to our church plant.  They’ll continue to be used to spread the Good News!  Sound like a good investment?  Email us at

Watermark Freiburg Online

WMFRLogo3b The website for our coming Freiburg, Germany church plant is finally online! Check it out at Although it’s not yet finished, you’ll be able to get an idea of what we’re trying to accomplish through our church in the Freiburg area. I’d be interested in your feedback about the site.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Making happy Christians mad

I came across an exceptional article today and thought it was perfect for the church God has put in our hearts to build! As our church grows, we need to remember to make decisions based on who hasn’t yet come to the church, rather than those that are already attending.

Have an awesome day!


Making Happy Christians Mad

By Tony Morgan

Posted: 25 Mar 2010 11:37 AM PDT

As I was reading the Bible this morning, I stumbled upon this verse:

“I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved,” (1 Corinthians 10:33, NLT)

Fascinating perspective isn’t it? Typically, we don’t operate like that. We put personal conviction or preferences ahead of what may be best for others. Think about it…

  • It isn’t worship if the music is too loud or too fast or the wrong genre.
  • It isn’t discipleship if the content is delivered in a home or online instead of in a classroom.
  • It isn’t missions if we help a neighbor who has wealth instead of focusing on people who live in poverty.
  • The message is good if it calls out the sin of other people, but when it’s our sin, we’re offended.
  • Rather than embracing the ministries that are impacting the most people, we want the church to embrace our personal projects and passions.
  • We’re more inclined to give when we can direct how the money is used.

Crazy. You’d think we’d be intentional about living out our faith to do what’s best for others. Instead, we make ministry decisions to try to keep people happy. That’s how we end up with churches full of happy Christians. That’s why churches stop growing. We start doing church for us instead of trying to impact the lives of people around us.

The reality is that if we’re going to reach people outside the church and outside the faith, we’re going to have to be uncomfortable. And, once we figure out what’s best for others today, it’ll be different tomorrow. That will involve change. That means we’ll have to get uncomfortable again.

Let’s face it. It’s a lot easier doing ministry when our only goal is to keep people happy. Doing what’s best for others makes life and ministry messy. We have to be willing to rock the boat. We have to be willing to watch people who don’t have a “1 Corinthians 10:33″-mindset leave the church.

When I stop doing what’s best for me and focus on what’s best for others, though, that’s when real life-change happens. It’s worth making “happy Christians” mad so that many may be saved.

The role of media and the arts in the church

In my conversations with church leaders I often get the question about the role of media and the arts in the Church. Most of the time you can boil their objections down to trying to “dress up” the message of the Gospel, as if it couldn’t stand on its own. The typical argument is that some churches are trying to repackage the Gospel to make it “seeker-friendly”, and in doing so they are watering down the message.

While I have seen this done more often than I care to admit, I have also seen some churches that are accessible, yet producing both converts and disciples.

This past week we were checking out a church in Paris. While there we took the kids to see the Notre Dame Cathedral. What a beautiful church! As I was explaining to the girls about the meaning of the different stained glass pictures and the carvings, it hit me. The Early Church (and the Church of the Dark Ages) explained the message of the Gospel to an illiterate people through images and stories. And this is exactly how today’s Church will be able to explain the message of the Gospel to a biblically illiterate, media-saturated culture!

It’s all about the journey

I have been thinking about how people are treated in churches. This one thing can really make or break a church. One of the things I see in the life of Jesus is that He was willing to be interrupted. If anyone ever had an important mission, it was Him. And He was laser-focused on this mission. But He didn’t let that stop Him from noticing the people and the needs around Him.

So often we get so concerned with the goal that we lose sight of the people around us. It’s like the bookstore owner that never opened his shop because he didn’t want the floors to get dirty. He completely forgot the purpose of the bookstore.

I’ve heard it said that our “mantras” will determine our church culture. One of the mantras I want our coming church plant to have is, “It’s all about the journey!” We can’t get so bogged down in the details and so focused on our goals that we miss the core value of connecting with people.

Remember what Jesus said…

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? – Mk. 8:36

My paraphrase of this verse goes like this: “What does it profit us if we get everything on our ‘To Do List’ accomplished, but fail to connect with and minister to the precious people God sends us?” We must remember that in our push to reach our goals, we have to hold to our core values. And if Jesus put people high up on His list of core values, so should we.

The journey (who we are becoming) is much more important than destination (what we do for God)!

Men (and women) wanted for hazardous journey

Men Wanted for Hazardous Journey

Small Wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and Recognition in case of Success.

-Ernest Shackelton’s recruiting poster for his legendary Antarctic expedition

This is sort of what we feel like we’re asking people to sign up for in helping us plant a church in Freiburg, Germany in October. On the one hand, we want them to know the incredible opportunity that lies before us. To quote Jesus, “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35) Freiburg (and Europe in general) is spiritually ripe… all they need are people willing to cooperate with God to fulfill His desire here. There are a quarter of a million unreached people in Freiburg that are counting on us!

On the other hand, this group must be willing to get out of their comfort zone and be willing to (for at least a season) walk away from their safe lives. This is why Abraham was called the Father of Faith… it says of him,

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. – Hebrew 11:8

It’s a risky proposition, but the higher the risk, the higher the return. No price, no prize!

If you’re interested in helping us launch our church, please email us. You can follow our progress on Facebook and Twitter. If nothing else, please pray for us and our team:

  • That we would “gel” together as a team
  • That we would have God’s wisdom in the style and organization of the church, and in the timing…
  • That the financial needs would be met, both for the church ($125K the first year) and for the individuals on the team
  • And that we would have favor with the people of Freiburg, especially civic leaders and those we must work with to make this happen.

Watermark Freiburg

We are planting a church in Freiburg, Germany in the Fall of 2010. It will be “a church for those that don’t do church”.  We’re excited to see what God will do in Freiburg.  We appreciate your friendship and are glad that you’re considering taking this journey of faith with us.

We’ve chosen the name "Watermark" for the church plant.

  • It carries the thought of identity/ownership, authenticity and quality.
  • It’s not “in your face”, but it's always there… even though it seems to be in the background.
  • For us it would mean that our connection with God is a part of everything we do.

Some info about our church plant:

  1. It will be highly relational.
  2. It will be a high-intensity church service, with cool, experiential music and relevant teaching.
  3. It will be active in the community.
  4. It will be a church-planting church… our focus will be on planting more churches with the same DNA all over the Freiburg area.

Some info about Freiburg, Germany:

  1. Renowned university city
  2. Many of the young adults are highly educated and artistic
  3. The greenest city in Germany