We moved to Berlin, Germany in April 2018 to start a New Ground church. "We are a group of churches called New Ground because our vision and passion is to help churches take new ground for the Kingdom of God. We are aware God is already at work through some excellent gospel centred, Bible teaching and spirit-filled churches across Berlin. We are excited to play our part in this great city and nation." Here's a bit more of our story from Pete:
I felt a call to church leadership, the nations and church planting after my baptism aged 18. Sarah moved to the UK from Germany when God spoke to her about a faith adventure from the story of Abraham “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” When we were dating we would dream together about being involved in starting new churches, caring for orphans and sharing Jesus through the music industry. Together we grew a love for cities and felt God speak to us about the importance of reaching key culture shaping cities with the good news of Jesus.
God has stirred our hearts for the nation of Germany over the last 10 years as we’ve traveled back and forth visiting family and friends. We began to see the opportunity for the gospel and the need for New Testament churches across the spiritually dry continent of Europe. During our very first visit to Berlin celebrating New Year's with some of Sarah’s school friends we began dreaming about the impact of the gospel across this great city. We made a few other visits in the early years of marriage, running a youth mission trip and prayerfully considering an invitation to join another church in the city. These moments planted seeds in our hearts that we couldn’t ignore. After a fruitful season of Pete being an elder at Jubilee Community Church (East Grinstead), Sarah working as a professional singer, and fostering the amazing Georgia Jones, we felt God stirring us for a move. This began a process of us defining the call of God on our lives. After much prayer and discussion with our elders, prophetic words and apostolic input it was obvious God wanted us to go to Berlin. In preparation for this big move, we accepted an invitation from Chris & Karen Taylor to have a season of training with Redeemer International Church, in The Hague. We have learnt lots about church planting and have made some new friends for life.
God spoke to New Ground (our family of churches) through the question ‘Has God forgotten Europe?’. The answer was a resounding no, which means as New Ground it's time play our part in sharing the gospel of Jesus with the people of Europe. Berlin, the capital, largest and most influential city of Germany plays a key role in Europe. God has called us to glorify Him across Berlin by sharing the good news of Jesus.
We are currently a small team but we have a big vision for what we believe God wants to do in Berlin. We recently named the church "Welcome church Berlin" and launched our website www.welcomechurch.de. Please visit the site and share it with any friends you might know in Berlin or Germany.
Thank you for taking time to read this. I'm praying that as you read these words God will speak to you about partnering with us or joining us on our Berlin Adventure.
Grace & Peace,
Pete: I'm passionate about the church, seeing people encounter truth, snowboarding, nature, and the the beach. I grew up in Jubilee Community Church, East Grinstead, and was raised by my faith-filled God-fearing parents Stan & Jude Benton. After some wild teenage years, I got baptised aged 18 and have attempted to be all out for Jesus ever since. Following a life changing year with the Kings Church Wellington (NZ) church plant, I moved back to JCC East Grinstead (UK) for an FP impact year. In 2004 I joined the staff team at JCC as youth leader, and then became an elder in October 2012.
Sarah: I grew up in Bremen, a city in the North of Germany and became a Christian at age of seven at home. My passions are God, family, people, life and music. I love life and bringing joy and laughter wherever I go. Like Pete, I enjoy raising up the next generation. I feel a strong calling to the music industry working as a vocal coach, singer, and song writer. I love to worship God with my voice and life. In my spare time I love hanging out with friends and taking selfies.