In September 2012, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales (EPCEW) began a monthly church planting Bible study in south west Berlin. However, any work of church planting rarely begins without preparatory work beforehand.
In the providence God, our family served on the MV Doulos mission ship for two years. During this time, I held a voluntary Bible study on the book of Romans in our cabin and, through it, many young people came to a Reformed understanding of Scripture.
Some of the most enthusiastic of these were Germans, especially two young men called Marius Wahrlich and Dominik Frank.
When the work of church planting got under way for Sheffield Presbyterian Church (www.sheffieldpres.org.uk), Marius and Dominik would remind me, ‘Do not forget Germany!’
As we are all aware, Western Europe is indeed still a mission field. The church planting committee of EPCEW engaged in much discussion during late 2011 and into 2012 concerning Germany. And after a number of ‘on the ground’ meetings in Germany, it became clear that a potential church planting nucleus was developing in Berlin.
In February 2013, a monthly study of this Berlin group was led by Rev. Andy Young of Cheltenham Presbyterian Church, on the subject: ‘What is the biblical basis for creeds and confessions?’ There were 17 people present, including a several weeks old baby.
We have encouragingly been given a facility for the holding of church services in south west Berlin, but these services have not begun yet.
In April, we will hold an additional church planting study in north west Berlin for the first time, meeting with an additional potential church planting nucleus. Berlin certainly needs more confessional and Reformed churches.
The German Christians expect that the Lord will raise up German ministers, elders and churches in the years ahead. They have shown great initiative, as they have published the Westminster Standards (which had already been translated) for the confessional basis of the church, along with a German hymn book.
They have established a Presbyterianische Kirche, Berlin website (www.epkd.de) and Facebook page. Prayer is valued for wisdom for the leadership of this work and that it would move forwards to become at least one established German confessional church.
For more information concerning this work in Berlin or church planting possibilities in England and Wales, please email Kevin Bidwell, minister of Sheffield Presbyterian Church ([email protected]).