IBCB’s leaders are proposing that we change Jürgen’s job description* and hire him as “Connections Pastor.” Why are we making this recommendation? How did we get to this point?
*Currently Jürgen is hired (450€ job) as pastoral support for our 15:00 h service)
a) Last year’s strategic analysis – conducted by the Leaders Council and aided by a congregational survey – yielded four strategic areas of priority and four key-areas of need.
- Improve Worship Services
- Events Planning (Connecting with the Community and Congregation to One Another)
- Assimilation (Connecting Newcomers and Congregation to Our Church)
- Improve Small Group Ministry
b) Assigning the task of “Connections” to Jürgen addresses two of these strategic areas:
- Reaching new members – connecting with community and bringing into our “crowd” (i.e. marketing, evangelism, events, etc.)
- Onboarding new members – assimilating “crowd” into “congregation” (i.e. welcome process, commitment to Christ, membership in church, belonging to small group, etc.)
c) A second staff pastor is necessary to take us to the next level as a church:
- Church health experts (Charles Arn) suggests that a “Growing Church” will have at least 1 full-time pastor and 2 part-time support staff for every 150 church participants.
- We have reached the thresh-hold of “150” and need to re-tool our support staff* by expanding and restructuring Jürgen’s job description to meet our needs.
*The Staff Relations Committee has taken up the recommendation from the floor in our last business meeting to consider the issue of hiring a “worship leader.”
What began as a dream is now becoming a reality! IBCB in cooperation with the IBC and the Nordic-Baltic LEAD team are in conversation with missionaries Bruce and Mary Boeckel about starting a new “IBC” church — an English-speaking, international church — in PB.
Why Prenzlauer Berg?
PB is an area growing through renovation; the area is being upgraded for Berlin’s growing future. It’s attracting many English speaking families because of two English-language schools (ca. 1,450 students combined)
in that neighbourhood. This area has had 27% growth in international residents in just the last three years, with some 60,000 internationals within easy reach of a church there.
Pray for Prenzlauer Berg!
§ Pray for us that we would make good contacts in Prenzlauer Berg, that God will grant us favour to find ways to do good in that community.
§ Pray that we learn the needs of the community so that we can raise up a church that meets needs and changes lives by God’s power.
§ Pray that God will prepare the hearts of English-speakers in East Berlin (both inter-nationals and local Germans) to receive the Gospel of Christ.
§ Pray that God will use us to raise up a congregation that would shine a light in the darkness.
One of the ways we experience God’s work in our lives is through small groups. In the interaction between individuals studying and applying the Bible in a shared life together, God shapes us and changes us to be more like Jesus Christ. That’s why small groups are an integral part of our disciple-making strategy.
But let’s face the fact: participating in and getting involved in a weekly small group requires a significant commitment especially if you are a parent. The time and energy required can sometimes prevent families from getting connected with a small group. Here’s a “novel” idea — turn your family into a small group!
Remember the “family devotional time”? Why not set aside one evening a week where you invest one hour in your own “Family Small Group”? There are endless resources available for you to use to take some time to catch up with each other in conversation, look into a Bible passage with a view to discussing how you can begin to live it in your family, make a plan for living “love/grow/serve/go”, and then spend some time praying together. Every couple and every family could benefit from this simple commitment!
Getting connected with one another on a spiritual/relational level will do you good! You will grow together as a couple/family while at the same time grow to become more like Jesus Christ.
If you are a parent and want one resource let me suggest the following: FaithWeaver Now Family Connect. This weekly resource comes free with our Sunday Bible study literature that we use each Sunday in our Kids Ministry. You could easily use this simple resource to reinforce what your children are learning on Sundays and enjoy all of the benefits of investing in “making disciples” of your children. Here are links to this week’s and the next four weeks of resources:
If you find this helpful and want access to these digital documents, please, let me know and I’ll be happy to make them available to you.
This year IBCB celebrates its 50th year of existence. Our history is filled with people of conviction who have faithfully carried the vision of incarnating and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Berlin. Here is an excerpt from one of our historical documents:
“The pastor of Rhine Valley Baptist Church met with several people in Berlin in January 1965 to pray about establishing an English language Baptist church. Representatives of the Evangelishefreikirchliche Gemeinde Steglitz offered use of space in their church facilities in February 1965. The name chosen for the new work was Berlin Baptist Church, English-Speaking.
Encouraged by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Berlin Baptist Church was constituted March 7, 1965. Nineteen of the thirty-one charter members were present, and by July 1, 1965, the church had thirty-five members. The church’s early budget was $465.85, Sunday School enrollment was fifty-two, and the average attendance was forty six.”
We will have our formal 50th Anniversary Celebration in conjunction with our annual International Day Festival. Help us get the word out to all past and present IBCBers.
June 27-28 — 50th Anniversary Celebration & International Day
Special Guests: Bob and Myra Marsh