Annual Report 2006 for LCJE Europe
By Hartmut Renz, LCJE Coordinator for Europe
Thirteen people from seven different organisations gathered at Neukirchen/Knüll for the annual meeting of the German-speaking branch of LCJE last December. We read the Bible together and introduced each other to the material we use in our ministries.
In two sessions representatives of the various organisations presented the position of their organisations on the following issues:
“Jewish Evangelism in Germany: Where are we today and what are the perspectives for the future?”
“Communication between messianic congregations and their expectations vis-à-vis the mission organisations: Where are we today, what are the needs and what should be improved?”
Each of the presentations was followed by a lively discussion. We agreed that the initial phase of Jewish Evangelism in Germany lies behind us and that we now need a stabilization phase which includes laying theological foundations and providing training for those involved in Jewish evangelism. In the future friendship-evangelism will become the most effective tool to reach Jews with the gospel. We also agreed that Germany is a unique place to demonstrate God's forgiving love and to bring the gospel to the Jews.
An interesting fact we learned is that about five times more Jewish believers in Germany belong to majority non-Jewish congregations than to Messianic congregations. According to one estimate about 5% of the members of Russian speaking congregations in Germany are Jewish. It will be an important task therefore to establish contact with these congregations, to develop partnerships and to train them in bringing the gospel to Jews.
As regards the Messianic congregations we observed that for many Jewish immigrants the cultural problems often exceed the language problem. Therefore we have to ask what can be done to help better integration and mutual understanding and how we can avoid that messianic congregations end up in a ghetto. We also felt the need to invite all leaders of messianic congregations in Germany annually for a short conference.
The next German meeting will be held on 11-13 December 2007. For the second half of the conference we want to invite messianic leaders specifically so that they can get to know each other better and can discuss current questions and problems.
To the international LCJE we address the following question: How can the Russian-speaking part of the messianic movement be better integrated into the LCJE movement and into the international conferences in view of the fact that many of them do not speak English?