Before Covid hit, the plan had been that I was going to go over to Frankfurt for a three-day ministry trip. That obviously didn’t happen, so I joined them online instead. Aaron Bashore is a pastor out there, who we’ve known for sometime. He’s originally from the USA, but has lived and served for many years in Germany.
We worked together with Aaron and his team on a few events. The first of these was a church-based training event. I’ve discovered that German churches seem to like to hold events far earlier in the morning than churches here in the UK! So, it was an earlier start to the day than I am used to. Nevertheless we did a session on how to share your faith and work or university with them. The challenges of evangelism there are remarkably similar to those in the UK, and other places I have worked such as Canada – and some of the same approaches are helpful across these contexts.
The topic for their Saturday night open forum was, “Can We Trust the Bible?”, and this was an outreach event. Aaron, said, “We are really enthusiastic about getting people into the Word, so this was a good way to help us start those kinds of conversations with people.” I’m also aware that there is a Muslim community in Frankfurt, and Muslims are often brought up to believe that the Bible has been corrupted. So, this is an important subject to address.
In my talk, I looked at why I trust the Bible, including some material on the manuscripts, eyewitness testimony in the gospels, and some evidence from archaeology too. Then we looked at the way in which the Bible so honestly diagnoses the human condition. While some religious texts seem to say that if you ‘just work hard enough you can become a decent person and be OK’ – the Bible is much more realistic. It uniquely explains what we are really like and why we can’t save ourselves and in fact need a saviour. The Bible insists that we need Jesus to die for us, and God to be gracious to us; and that fits the human condition better because it addresses us as we actually are. We did a Q&A too – and the questions were clearly from non-Christian folks searching for answers. For more on the reliability of the Bible, read here.
I’m constantly impressed by my German friends’ linguistic skills! Although they asked for my slides and handouts in advance so they could translate them into German, they were happy to have me speak in English, and the entire Q&A was conducted in English too! It was encouraging to hear that folks had responded well to both sessions – and I’m really hoping to be able to join them in person soon!
It’s been interesting to hear some responses to the evening through Aaron. He’ll be following up with one man who said that despite all he heard he still finds Atheism ‘more comforting’. More encouraging was the response from a lady who said she was now prepared to seriously read the Bible. So we pray that the Holy Spirit will open its truth to her.
I am hoping to be able to visit Aaron and the church in Frankfurt in the Autumn, but we will see what the regulations permit!