This post was written by Steve and Christina Walent, missionaries to Germany
From the start of 2017, one of our churches in the northernmost German province of Schleswig-Holstein had been averaging about 160 attendees for their Sunday morning services. The pastor and the church leadership team were not satisfied with the status quo, so they decided to take part in our CBI church transformation training which started in their region the end of January 2017.
They had about eight people from their church leadership team take part in the training. Simultaneously, in 2017, a few Iranian refugees started attending their church. These folks started inviting their friends and fellow countrymen to this “Christian church” where the people were kind, friendly, and very open to helping them. This organic growth by word-of-mouth gained incredible results for the Kingdom.
During 2017, the pastor baptized about 96 new believers, with about 80 of them being Iranians! They were having so many Iranians come to faith or show interest in faith in Christ that they started a parallel service to their Sunday morning service just for the refugees. I was able to attend one of these services in March of this year. There were about 55 Iranians in attendance. They were praising God with worship songs in their own language (Persian/Farsi). A few workers (Germans) from the local church played the instruments and one of them preached as well.
On Good Friday of this year, the church baptized another 50 people - 42 Iranians, 4 Arabs and 4 Germans! We praise God for this fruit. The Iranians congregation has begun offering an Alpha course in Persian, and afterwards they begin a discipleship process. The pastor told me a few weeks ago that they are now having aver 70 Iranians in their special service. The church has grown so much in the past 18 months that they will start and second service at a different time to accommodate the growth.
When leaders take on the challenge of change in order to fulfill the mission of Christ, the Spirit of God has the opportunity to do something new among them. That is why we do what we do! Praise God!