Because of the GLS | People Experience Church in a New Way in Germany
As The Global Leadership started to become more widely known in the US, more and more people started hearing about the Global Leadership Summit internationally.
In 2005, the leadership team at the Willow Creek Association felt God calling them to serve pastors and leaders, not only in the US, but around the world.
One of the first countries WCA went into was Germany. Now, several years later, we’re hearing multiple stories about the ongoing ripple effect there.
This is just one of those stories.
In Germany, most people don’t even think about planting a new church if they are a part of the traditional Protestant or Lutheran Church. But when Steffen Beck attended the Summit, he was captured by a catalytic idea that would go against everything he had grown to know about the Church in Germany.
To give background to this story, one needs to understand a little bit about the Church in Germany. It is traditionally thought that since Germany is a “Christian country,” there is no need for mission work — Each institutionalized church has its own territory, and generally no one interferes with such territories. Over time, the influence of the state church has faded, and many people are living in a secular society with the leftovers of their tradition.
So when Steffen heard about the concept of the Church being able to transform lives and show God’s work in the community, God began to whisper in his ear about planting a new kind of church.
For Steffen, this radical idea meant leaving his Lutheran church, and facing the consequences of major opposition from what he had come to know as his church family.
But despite this opposition, Steffen remained obedient to God’s whisper.
In 2005, Steffen and a small group of believers he was leading moved into a 400 seat venue with hope that God could do anything.
They called their church, International Christian Fellowship, and came up with a slogan, “Experience church in a new way.”
Today, their church is thriving, and more than a thousand people have started their faith journey there. Since then, they have planted two more churches, and have been impacting their community through social initiatives and their children’s ministry. Their evangelistic heart is strong.
Thanks to a whisper heard from God at the Global Leadership Summit, lives in Germany have been changed.
What did God whisper to your heart during the Global Leadership Summit?