Our guest blog post today is from Nathan, part of our wider Catalyst family, who has moved with his family from Grace Church, Wolverhampton to plant a church in Munich.
Moving to Munich
It is almost a year since we arrived in Munich, and nearly six years since we moved on from Jubilee to help plant Grace Church Wolverhampton. We arrived in Munich with a vision to plant a German speaking, multi-cultural church that reaches out to the nations! We desire to see a church that has a wide open door welcoming all. We want to see people equipped and released into what God has called them to.
Naturally one of the most common questions we receive is, ‘How’s the Church Plant going?’ To be honest, I never have a clue where to start when answering this question!
At times we have said that we just want to survive the first twelve months, and of course survival remains a priority! Schooling, jobs, accommodation, finance, language, emotional and spiritual well being and navigating bureaucracy are all critical if you are going to survive in a pioneering ministry context. All of these remain a challenge to us.
However, at the same time we hold onto a hunger to see God move supernaturally in and around our every day circumstances. We have certainly seen God’s hand moving tangibly at times through several healings, unexpected financial provision, timely encouragement and a couple of salvations of people we have met on the street.
Nevertheless, life here certainly seems full of mundane frustrations more than divine interventions. For example, I have found that my morale is closely linked to language learning. Some days I feel like I am never going to crack German, and that is pretty depressing. Other days I feel like I am really making some progress and I can actually see myself holding a decent conversation!
One of the most helpful lessons we learned in Wolverhampton is that a key skill for ministry is to be able to manage disappointment. There have been weeks when it seemed every day there were several disappointments in all sorts of different areas of life. In this we have discovered, in a deeper way than previously, the importance of constantly renewing our identity in Christ. It is so easy for our sense of worth to become skewed by external fruitfulness, or lack of.
We all know that God never promises us success yet at the same time we know he is our Father who desires good things for his children. We have to come back to him day after day, hour after hour. We need to acknowledge his sovereignty and love and that we are delighted to submit ourselves to him again. In this we find peace, purpose and identity.
We very much see ourselves connected to our family and friends in the UK, and around the world. This is especially true for churches that have sown into us and this is particularly true with regards to Jubilee. What we are doing in Munich is in no small part down to the teaching we received and opportunities given to us at Jubilee. We love you and are delighted to hear of God’s grace at work through you. Please do keep in touch with us!
During the autumn we will begin a half-termly public service in the city centre. We are a small team so if anybody feels inspired to come out and help us for a weekend with outreach, publicity and practical help with the service then please do let us know!