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: http://picasaweb.google.com/jandrperrin/WatermarkFreiburg#
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!”
The 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!