We'll be launching a New Ground church plant into Berlin during 2019. In January 2017 we started a season of training in The Hague with Redeemer International Church led by Chris Taylor who is part of the New Ground core team. It has been a huge privilege to spend time with the Redeemer leadership team and church community, serving the church and learning from their exciting journey. We are very grateful for all the encouragement and support that JCCEG has given us, and can't wait to partner with them moving forwards. We have been attending the New Ground Academy training course in the UK, which has provided excellent training and a great launch pad for the church plant.
God spoke to New Ground about playing our part in sharing the gospel of Jesus and starting new churches across Europe. Due to the rise of secularism across Europe some people are suggesting that Christianity is dying out. We believe that Europe and Germany is ripe for revival. “Has God forgotten Europe?” If the answer is no, then we must do something about it. We currently have a small team, but we have a big vision. God has called us to see the transformation of lives, a city, and the nations. We are going to by starting Bible-based, Grace-filled, Spirit-empowered churches that share the gospel of Jesus across the city of Berlin. Our purpose is to glorify God and make disciples of Jesus across Berlin.
Will you join us on this exciting adventure?
We are passionate about others and the value of team. We love empowering people and seeing them step out in faith into all that God has for them. We are looking to recruit a church planting team to come on this Berlin Adventure with us. Whatever nation you are from, if you have a heart for the nations, studied German at School, or feel a call to church planting we would love to hear from you. If you would like more information, or to join the Berlin Adventure, please don't hesitate to get in contact.
TEAM - We are seeking God for a team of 20 adults from across New Ground, the Newfrontiers family of churches and from within Berlin to be added to us over 2018. We'll be setting up life over the summer of 2018. These early days will be about prayer, community, learning about life in Berlin and making friends. At the right time we'll launch the church into the city. We are praying for a family of God to be represented of different ages and stages of life. Whether it’s short term, for a year or two, or you want to investigate a calling to join us in the city, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
PRAYER - Please sign up for the Berlin Adventure Newsletter below and commit to praying for us each month. The newsletters will highlight key news and info on the Berlin Adventure with specific prayer points. Prayer is and will be a key value for us on this adventure, therefore we so appreciate you taking time to pray for this Berlin Adventure. If you know us personally please feel free to contact us direct to be added to a private prayer group with more regular and detailed prayer requests.
FINANCES - This is a faith adventure, we'll be looking for work plus seeking God and trusting Him for provision. Would you help us make the adventure a reality? We would be very grateful for any financial contribution you could give towards our Berlin Adventure. You can donate direct to Pete & Sarah Benton via our Stewardship Give Page. Alternatively you can give direct to the church plant via Jubilee Community Church or Redeemer International Church.
Below are some frequently asked questions. You'll find some repetition here, but you might also find some additional information on a specific question.
How much team do you have?
We are currently a small team, but we have a big vision and an even bigger God! God has put it on our hearts to recruit a team of 20 adults to join the adventure by the summer of 2019. We are praying for people from different cultural backgrounds, ages and stages of life. If you have an interest in church planting and a connection to Germany then we would love you to pray about joining our Berlin Adventure. Whether you are passing through Berlin, can serve us for a year or two, feel a call to move to Berlin, or already call this city home, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.
How do I know if I’m called to join the Berlin Adventure team?
It is important that you feel a personal call from God and can articulate how God is stirring your heart for church planting and in Berlin specifically. Whilst it’s essential you feel a call, try not to over spiritualise or complicate it.
Seek God in prayer. Ask your perfect heavenly Father for guidance and faith for the adventure. Ask Him to give you an internal conviction, longing and an excitement to go. Ask God to give you supernatural experiences and prophetic words.
Seek Godly wisdom. Ask advice of your local church elders, and trusted loved ones. Ask them for encouragement, direction and wisdom. Have honest conversations about timing and process. Having received advice from your leaders, ask them to pray for fresh faith, confirmation of your call and a heart for the city and people of Berlin.
Finally, let’s chat! It would be great to meet you, hear your story, passions and dreams. Why not come out for a visit or a season to investigate how God is leading you.
What is the name of the church?
We don’t know yet. This is the second most asked question. It’s great how many people get excited about naming a church. During the early stages of the church we will seek God in prayer for a compelling vision and the name of the church. We want our name and vision to be birthed in prayer. We are also aware that there is a lot we need to learn about the culture and context of Berlin when it comes to reaching this city. We want a name that will fit missionally with Berlin.
Where will you meet? What is the location of the church?
Initially we’ll meet in the homes of team, both mid-week and at weekends. After a season of ground works, laying foundations in prayer, building community and learning about life in Berlin we’ll look for somewhere to meet. At the right time (probably when we’ve run out of space in our home) we’ll find somewhere big enough to rent for our Sunday gatherings. God has spoken prophetically to us about some locations in Berlin e.g. Potsdamer Platz and Tempelhof. We feel called to start a ‘city-impacting’ church! Part of the challenge is working out how we best serve the 3.7 million people, living across 12 boroughs, many local neighbourhoods, and a number of down town built up centres. The long-term vision is to see churches across the city. However initially we’ll need wisdom from God on where to start a city-impacting church. Please continue to pray with us for the perfect place, and an excellent venue that serves families and reaches hip Berlin.
What sort of church will you be starting?
This answer is simple, a church that is all about Jesus. You could summarise our church values as: Bible-based, Grace-filled (reformed), Spirit-empowered (charismatic), and City-impacting (missional). Feel free to get in contact if you have any specific questions about our values and theology.
What language will you be speaking? What if I don’t speak German?
We are an international group with people on our team from around the world. Berlin is an international world city with a diverse population. An estimated 20-30% of the city’s residents are born outside of Germany. Speaking a common language such as English is a fantastic tool for reaching the nations of the world. However, if you feel called to join this Berlin Adventure we would urge you to start learning German. If you are not a native speaker then learning the language communicates a heart of humility and a way of honouring the local people. As well as being a blessing to the nations of the world, our heart is to bless to the great nation of Germany. Pete’s dream is to preach the gospel in German one day. He’s currently attending language classes and beginning to interact with locals in broken German. We want to see many Germans and internationals saved, growing as followers of Jesus, trained and released as leaders.
We will start the church with English as the main language, but go out of our way to honour German by encouraging participation and prayers in German, having songs and our scripture reading in German. As we move forward we’ll have aspects of church life such as life groups in German. At the right time we will make a clearer decision on whether we need to have translation, be bilingual, or host English and German meetings. We are seeking God’s guidance on this, so please be patient and gracious with us. If we did decide on an English-speaking meetings, then our desire is to plant and start a German-speaking congregation/church as soon as possible.
Who is supporting and overseeing you?
Our support and apostolic oversight comes from Dave Holden’s New Ground team, and specifically Chris Taylor from Redeemer International church in The Hague. We also have some support from Jubilee Community Church, East Grinstead who have loved, trained and sent the Bentons on this adventure. You could also play a key role! Pete & Sarah Benton are living by faith and trusting God for supernatural provision alongside working part-time jobs. Why not give financially to the Bentons or the church plant, commit to praying, come and visit, or join us on this Berlin Adventure. We’d love your support.
How will you be funded? How will the finances work?
God will provide the finance for the mission He has called us on. Pete & Sarah are living by faith and from gifts, alongside working part-time to help contribute to income and meet local people. Sarah has recently gone full-time as a self-employed musician, which is another step of faith. Pete feels called to serve the church plant, be on mission, learn culture and language. It’s not cheap to live in central Berlin. Would you consider giving to this exciting adventure? You can give directly to Pete & Sarah Benton via their stewardship account. If you would like to give specifically to the church plant then the best thing at this stage is to give via Redeemer International Church The Hague, or New Ground referencing “Berlin Church Plant”.
Why start a church in Berlin?
Berlin is known as the atheist capital of Europe with only an estimated 1% of its population attending a Bible-believing, gospel-preaching church. Whilst there are some fantastic churches in Berlin, there is still a huge vacuum for the gospel. God has called us to this influential global city to play our part in being a blessing to Berlin. The main reason we are moving to Berlin to start a church is because God has told us to do so. Pete & Sarah have carried a call to the nations and church planting overseas from early on in their Christian lives. You can read more about their story on our About page. God has also spoken to New Ground (our family of churches) specifically about Europe. We’re convinced as a team, and as a movement of churches that we have a part to play in glorifying God across Europe, Germany and specifically Berlin.
What about other churches in Berlin?
Our main aim in coming to Berlin is to lift up the name of Jesus. It’s about his name, not ours. Berlin has been through enough division and disunity. We want to demonstrate the gospel by displaying unity within the wider church by building friendship and encouraging other Bible-believing, gospel-preaching churches in the city. We’ve been inspired by Tim Keller's Rise campaign in New York. The vision is help build a great city through a gospel movement. They are believing God for a tipping point in culture and seeing the percentage of believers in the city change from 5% to 15%. Our big vision for Berlin is revival! We want to see a city transformed and where the percentage of Christians rises from 1% to 10% and beyond. Encouraging other gospel-preaching churches will help lift up the name of Jesus across Berlin and ultimately build a great city.