Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kirchentag



Recently the country of Germany experienced their annual Evangelical Lutheran convention; this time in the (no bias here) most beautiful German city—Dresden. We were not in town for the week-end but we had a lot of feedback from people we know who did check it out, and what we heard was interesting—and eye-opening.

First of all, there were several groups that targeted Kirchentag with evangelistic campaigns. This may at first seem like a silly idea. After all, church members from all over Germany descended on Dresden, and a lot of atheists made it a point to get out of town. However, even while a large percentage of Germans are church members—either of the Catholic or the Lutheran churches—less than 2% consider themselves to be “born again” or to have a personal relationship with Christ. The groups that did do evangelism at Kirchentag experienced a lot of success. After all, they spoke with a lot of people who believed in God and what the Bible says about Jesus, they simply had never applied that truth to their own lives. They had never been encouraged to do so!

Secondly, we learned that those aforementioned evangelistic efforts… were officially forbidden by the event organizers! You wouldn’t want a church convention to have too many people talking about Jesus, after all[?]

So, what was the discussion all about? The main topics of discussion this year seemed to be: ecology, atomic power, and to a lesser degree Sudan. All great issues needing to be addressed, and even things the body of Christ needs to think about and engage, but it seemed like a strange, side issue for Christians meeting in a city where 80% of the population claim to be atheists.

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