old-fashioned to have a burning love for the church?
I was born and raised in a Christian family. At fifteen, I
surrendered my life to Christ and was baptized shorly after at
a small Church convention in former communist East Germany.
Intensive personal prayers developed in my heart a solid
conviction that God was calling me into ministry. Two years
later, contacts were made to the Fritzlar Bible School, and by
the leading of God's Spirit I made it across the former highly
dangerous Iron Curtain from East to West Germany in January
After almost forty years of pastoral work and service, of
national and international cooperation with many Church
leaders around the globe, as well as with interdenomination
contacts and sharing, my heart is still as ardent as ever for
the worldwide church Jesus is building.
For me, faithfulness to Jesus has always meant as well
faithfulness to the church, the spiritual body of Christ. To
serve Jesus means to serve as well his spiritual body, the
church, the partly visible family of God.
I've seen good and bad changes. Individuals and local
churches have sometimes struggled and failed. Others have
grown spiritually and fulfilled the Great Commission of
Modern life and thinking is influencing the churches today.
Especially egoistic desires dominate attitudes everywhere. If
the church of today loses its self-denial and dedicated
attitude, it'll fail soon or later.
On one hand interdenomination contacts and cooperation have
opened doors for contructive evangelistic outreach. On the
other hand, you can see how easily believers are losing the
biblical vision for the church Jesus is building.
It's so easy to say, "Let us be like other successful
church groups!" A human-minded tolerance toward the conception
of the church that would compromise with easygoing structures
may make a church to grow in numbers but not so in its
spiritual quality and power.
The living standards for the biblical church are given in
Jesus himself. He's our example by his love, service, prayer
life, preaching and teaching, evangelizing, and his healing.
Let the church be like Jesus, who's the head of the
spiritual body. The head and the body are a spiritual unity.
All members are responsible to see and support the total body
of Christ, but in the attitude and mind of Jesus. Each
individual is a close part of Jesus the head, but at the same
time as well a close responsible part of the whole body of
I'm confident that Family of God, the Church, will continue
to fulfill the great task in the world of today, as well as
when facing the [third] millennium, because we put our trust
not just in the church but in our Lord and head of the church.