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.