Normal Means of Grace and Cutting Edge Missions

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Sebastian Heck

Puritan Board Freshman
We are a team of Christians comitted to planting a confessional Presbyterian &Reformed church in post-Christian Germany. As you can see on our website (, we are also thoroughly comitted to a "normal means of grace" philosophy of ministry.

The thing we are wrestling with is how to do cutting edge church planting in a postmodern, post-Christian environment (such as Western Europe, particularly Germany) with such an emphasis on the biblical, normal means of grace?

To put it bluntly, I am under the impression that some "normal means of grace" advocates in Presbyterian circles do well as pastors somewhere in the deep south of the U.S., or somewhere in a 400 year old church in Scotland. But what would they do in a university town in Germany? Just announce where and when the newest church in town is going to hold its first service and expect the Lord sovereignly to bring the masses into the church as he sees fit?

I am looking for your thoughts on a balance between a theologically driven, sovereignty-of-God based, normal means of grace approach to ministry in post-Christian Europe and a strong evangelistic church planting endeavor that actually does something and reaches someone.
Any thoughts?
I don't have much to offer, but don't forget that you do have liberty with the circumstances of worship. Consider, for example, the time you hold worship on the Lord's Day. I know the church plant Thomas Gemeinde has decided to hold their worship service at 16:16 (a reference to Matthew 16:16). I thought that was kind of silly at first, but then I realized that the elders of a church do have the authority to decide what time to hold the service. I guess be cautious that you aren't importing American ways of doing church without careful consideration.
Most church plants I've heard of in the States start as a Bible study, then when there's enough people and interest, they start holding a small service probably in someone's home on Sunday while they look for a larger public place. The Bible study people are the first to start bringing more and more people. You have to do a lot of outreach and pavement-pounding at first.
Since you are in a post-Christian culture, and you are surrounded by people so ignorant of what Scripture teaches (much like America now, even in the South) it will take time to see your seeds grow. It could take alot of time. Remember, many of the churches Paul started were very small. It took time for them to grow and spread. It could take generations. Your little group could end up being like the Hussites or Lollards, spreading the seed of the Word that will be reaped generations later. If you find yourself in that condition, then be content with it and let God sow and reap as he so pleases through your ministry. And always intercede not just for your church plant but for the future generations of your land. God will not only use your outreach to plant seeds but also your prayers. :2cents:
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