Reformation2Germany


Church Planting in Heidelberg by Rev. Sebastian Heck


Germany has been called the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation. The preaching and writings of Martin Luther (1483-1546) brought about a glorious recovery of the Gospel which, in turn, helped to spread spiritual reformation all across Europe. Germany was once teeming with passionate Christians. Presently, however, it is one of the darkest places spiritually in all of Europe. For most Americans this is hard to believe. Tourists see the beautiful church steeples all across the country. But rather than signs of spiritual life, they have become bitter reminders of a distant past. The proud atheism and agnosticism of its past philosophers has given way to a wide-spread new paganism.

The largest portion of Germany‘s population is nominally (in name only) Christian. Adding up the numbers of "evangelicals" within and without the officially sanctioned Lutheran state church leads to an estimate of about 1-2% of the total population (compare with 4-5% Muslims). Church attendance ranks at about 5-7% of the population (mostly Catholics; compare with between 40% and 50% attendance in the U.S.). The Christian landscape in Germany is mostly comprised of the Lutheran State Church which show only very weak signs of spiritual life and the Free Churches which have very little respect for church history or doctrinal formulations (e.g. creeds and confessions).  At this point in the history of German Christianity, a solid and truly confessional Reformed church would be unique ministry. There is almost no presence of Reformed Christianity of a confessional nature anywhere in Germany.  This has led us to start "Reformation2Germany". R2G stands for a vision for reformation and for the establishment of a Reformed church in Germany.

Our vision is to see the establishment of a vibrant, confessional and Reformed church in Germany in order to spread the Gospel anew. The strategy we are pursuing with R2G is three-fold:
Heidelberg, Germany
1. Church Planting
 
Through God-centered preaching and evangelism we will seek to plant confessional, Reformed, evangelistic, God-glorifying German churches that rely on the use of the God-ordained, God-given means of grace (Word, sacraments, & prayer). Yes, we are praying and planning not just for one congregation but several congregations in strategic places in order to form a Reformed denomination in Germany.

The first church plant has been launched in Heidelberg, a city with a rich - but largely forgotten - Reformed heritage. We are currently gearing up for our inaugural worship service d.v. April 18, 2010 which will take place in our facilities in the Landfried Complex. If you want to follow the progress of renovations, please click here.  For the future, we are considering other potential sites and assessing potential pastors for church planting in Germany.

2. Publishing
 
Publishing is part of the larger objective of creating a "Reformed atmosphere" in which people come to learn and embrace a distinctively Reformed worldview. We have already begun to publish books and pamphlets that we hope will encourage German Christians and reach out to the broader culture.
 
3. Training & Teaching
 
Wherever a great work of reformation is to be sustained, ministers of the gospel need to be trained and taught. We seek to provide training for future elders and church planters/pastors that will in turn be ready to plant churches in other cities in Germany as a part of a new, healthy, and growing denomination.

R2G is a ministry of Grace Presbyterian Church with additional ecclesiastical oversight being provided by the Northwest Georgia Presbytery of the PCA where I am also licensed to preach the Gospel as well as pursuing ordination. I am hoping to be called as assisstant pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church and to be officially sent out as an evangelist to do the work of church planting in Germany. I am also currently pursuing a doctorate at the Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.

We are thrilled about the partnership of Grace Presbyterian Church to be involved in the church plant in Heidelberg. Many members of the congregation of Grace PC are personally involved in our ministry. Since R2G is such a massive endeavor, we need many more congregations and individuals to support this work.

If you are visiting this website from another church, we would love to come and present our vision to your missions committee, leadership or church. Join with us in this effort to establish a gospel-centered, confessional, and Reformed church in Germany – to God's glory and the joy and salvation of many!

For more information in English, please visit http://www.reformation2germany.org/ and sign up for the R2G newsletter.

Also, follow us on Twitter to know how to stay current in praying for us.

For more information in German about the Heidelberg church plant, visit: http://www.serk-heidelberg.de

If you are interested in taking part in this ministry financially, please contact the church office at 770-489-6758.