Who are you?
Hi. We are Natalie and Miriam. We would love to introduce our husbands to you.
This is Zac. His first ever trip to Germany was to play soccer. He was 14 and Germany became a part of him. Although he never played in the Bundesliga, he married me, Natalie, a German. In 2016 we officially moved to Karlsruhe. Three years of outreach and countless encounter groups later, Zac was asked by the Christliches Zentrum Karlsruhe (CZK) to become the pastor. Crazy!
And this is Simon. He definitely never wanted to become a pastor. So, he became a “Special Education”–teacher. Which is a great way to learn how to love and lead people. And there are so many opportunities to share about Jesus: class trips are perfect to pray for healing, parents-teacher-conferences also. But then on July 26, 2018 came the word: “Stop being a teacher.” God spoke, and that was the end of his pension. Did I mention that we, Simon and me, Miriam, have three kids?
Our journey has been amazing. The four of us, together with the CZK leadership team are on a wild ride!
What do you want to see?
At least 5 new churches in the region. One new church in a completely different part of Germany. One in another country. By the end of 2022.
Is that what we really want? Not really. That would be the fruit of what we really want.
We want to see a Jesus movement!
To get there, we identified five points that we continuously need to work on.
We want to help the people in the CZK to grow their very own relationship with Jesus (point 1). To be discipled and to disciple others (point 2). To open their houses to others (point 3). To celebrate on Sundays like one big family. All led by the Holy Spirit (point 4). And to get mobilized for missions (point 5).
That’s what we really want.
When we talk about churches now, we talk about spiritual families in very different forms.
If other churches would like us to help them implement those five points, we would love that.
How did you get this idea?
Zac had a life before being asked to become the pastor of the Christliches Zentrum Karlsruhe. In that previous ministry, he realized after a while that discipleship was not wanted there. Getting more and more frustrated, he prayed for a new direction. God told him to discover a more apostolic approach to the Kingdom of God. He started to write down the five points around the time, that the CZK asked him to join them. At the same time, Simon had to decide if he really wanted to get fully involved. The five points helped him to get his decision straight. It was very important to us that the leadership team is on board with everything.
What challenges do you expect?
Being out there in the city is what Zac and Simon do. Corona-compliant flash mob on Easter Sunday. Driving to Berlin to have a church service in a park. Mission trips to sort of dangerous countries. You name it.
But how to mentor the new church plants from a distance? How often should we gather the leaders together for fellowship, prayer, learning from us and from each other? How to mobilize other people for missions? We aren’t experienced in that yet.
We are also aware that we are very passionate: sometimes we are probably too passionate for the people around us. We want to help everyone to come along and join in, no matter how old or young, experienced or inexperienced they are.
What are you going to do?
We will create an atmosphere where everybody is free to talk openly with each other about how their relationship with Christ is going (point 1). We will be emphasizing the importance of 1-on-1 discipleship by sharing about it in our gatherings and by connecting possible mentors with people who want to be mentored (point 2). At least 5 new gatherings in different houses are going to be started in the next months (point 3). Every Sunday there will be testimonies from the last week, a time where people use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help each other, and lunch fellowship (point 4). Besides the Discipleship Training Week, we are planning at least two trips until the end of the year to help the old and new people to experience missions first-hand (point 5).