Friday, February 25, 2011

Encouraged, yet frustrated…

As with any startup church, one of the biggest issues is finances.  And especially with a church like ours that is focused on reaching the unchurched and the “de-churched” (those that have walked away from traditional churches), we have to fight the typical stereotype that churches only want people’s money.  This has been a frustration for us, but we knew this was a part of church planting.

But in the things that truly count – people committing their life to Christ, changed lives and people getting excited about using their gifts to impact Freiburg – Watermark is doing really well.  Last Sunday we saw one of our church neighbors give her heart to Christ.  She was invited by one of our team the week before.

And the week before that, a man that told me he is NOT a believer came to church because an angel appeared to him in a dream and told him to come visit our church.  He loved it!  He took a bunch of business cards and said he would invite all of his friends.  He came back last week and was just as excited.

Please continue to pray for Watermark… God is doing great things here and we’re excited to be a part of it!

Free Bible Study Discussion Guides!


A few years ago Robin and I wrote a series of Bible Study Discussion Guides for a local church in Bonn, Germany.  The small group program at this church had become basically teaching groups (old school Bible studies).

In an effort to revitalize the small group program, we started writing our own curriculum, which was translated into German.  The purpose of these Discussion Guides is to both build relationships and learn spiritual principles.  The result was better than we expected!

We have an entire year’s worth of weekly Small Group lessons (52 lessons) in 4 main themes (including 26 lessons on Spiritual Disciplines). And we want to give them away for free.

Click on this link to download the free Discussion Guides (zip file): Small Group Discussion Guides (English)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Miraculous week at Watermark!

This past week was amazing!  A week ago Sunday one of our newest team members asked us to pray for her knee.  She had torn her ACL through a bicycle crash and was told she needed surgery.  She was hobbling around with a stiff brace.

Well, we prayed for her and then she went to a specialist.  He told her he couldn’t find the tear.  He saw the other doctor’s report, with precise description of the damage, but couldn’t find any damage on the newer MRI.  He basically said, “Have a great life… you don’t need me!”

And then some of our team prayed for a lady that had such bad arthritis pain in her arm that it had become unusable.  This is especially bad because she needs to be able to use her arm for the retirement home where she volunteers. So she asked us to pray for her Wednesday night at our Bible study.

She awoke Thursday morning with no pain in that arm whatsoever!

And on Sunday morning, one of our team members was having a lot of headache pain and concentration problems because of a concussion he’d received the week before.  When we prayed for him, he said the pain was instantly gone!

But the wildest thing was that a visitor came on Sunday that had been invited by one of our team.  I had the strangest conversation with this man.

He told me that he didn’t believe Jesus was “the way”.  He instead believed in “the truth”… a universal truth that is overarching, whatever you want to call it.  He felt that Jesus was someone who showed us how to know “the truth”.

Anyway, on Saturday night he had a dream where an angel appeared to him.  The angel revealed to him that he should go to Watermark on Sunday.

He told me he LOVED the service.  Since he’s a musician, he really connected with our worship team (all professional musicians!).  And apparently my message on what love REALLY is connected with what he’s been “feeling” lately.  As he said, “Love is just another expression of the truth.”  God is so creative in reaching people far from Him!

And then he told me he had grabbed a bunch of business cards and was bringing all of his friends!

Keep praying… you’re helping us change the spiritual landscape here in Freiburg, where less than 1% of the population has a personal relationship with Christ, or attend a life-giving church.

Baby dedication

A few weeks ago I was privileged to have our first Watermark baby dedicationIMG_0950.  Noah and Malin’s parents committed to raise them to know and love God.

In dedicating a baby, it’s important to note that we are not determining their salvation. We are celebrating with the parents as they commit to raising their children to love God.

And we as a church committed to praying for them as well.  As all parents know, raising kids is hard.. and they NEED our prayers.

What a cool day this was!

PS. At Watermark kids are incredibly important!  God has called us to not only be a safe place for kids, He’s called us to be a place where they are valued and treasured.  Thank God for the incredible kids ministry team God has given us!