October 24, 2012 by
Categories: Conferences | Germany
Arche Church in Hamburg, Germany was privileged to host the annual Eckstein Conference this past week, October 18-21. Pastors, leaders, and Christians from all over Europe gathered to be further instructed from God’s Word on the transforming power of the gospel.
Sadly, the church in the land of the reformation is in poor health due to the influence of liberal theology. Many churches have moved far away from what Luther recovered. The Eckstein Conference serves to draw many to return to sound doctrine and practice according to the Word of God. This year C.J. Mahaney and Jeff Purswell served as our main speakers unpacking the Scriptures to help us further see the connection between the gospel and progressive sanctification.
One of many highlights of the conference was Jeff’s sermon from Isaiah 6 about the holiness of God. He made specific connections between the theological truth of the text and its applications to every day life. In his message Jeff made the point that just as Isaiah could not stand before God, we too need help from outside ourselves to be in the presence of a holy God. We can only find hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of the attendees commented that they have never heard Isaiah 6 preached more powerfully.
It was also a great joy to welcome C.J. Mahaney. This was his first time speaking at this conference. In his fine and joyful manner he immediately won the hearts of the Germans. In his message from James 4:1-2 he addressed how cravings underlie conflicts. His preaching was practical and uplifting for those in attendance. In his message on Hebrews 3:12-13 he addressed the responsibility we have to help each other grow in godliness. He used an illustration of a businessman preparing for an important meeting but failed to notice the cream cheese that was on his face, remaining from his earlier breakfast. No one alerted this businessman of what was obvious to others…the cream cheese on his face. This businessman was heading into an embarrassing situation and no one was willing to stop him. The stakes are much higher for us as Christians.
In attendance at the conference was a woman who was preparing to divorce her husband of 30 years. Upon returning home she wrote us:
Dear Pastors, yesterday I was at the Eckstein Conference....the sermons were so clear and convicting that I decided to humble myself by writing a letter to my husband. The result was that both of us have decided to devote ourselves to each other again. May the Lord help us. The message of C.J. Mahaney with the cream cheese was very helpful and convicting. To God be the glory for these wonderful days. God bless you all!
The Arche Church in Hamburg is thankful to God for our deep friendship with C.J., Jeff, and Sovereign Grace Ministries. To God be the glory!
Christian Wegert leads Gemeinde und Missionswerk Arche in Hamburg, Germany. He graduated from the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in 2008. Christian and his wife Verena have two daughters and one son.
October 17, 2012 by
Categories: Conferences | Germany
Over the next few days, people from a number of European countries – Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Russia, Ukraine and all over Germany – will gather in Hamburg for a conference hosted by the Arche Church. The theme for this year’s conference, which will take place October 18-21, is “The Christian and His Character: The Transforming Power of the Gospel.” Please join us in praying for C.J. Mahaney and Jeff Purswell as they have the joy of participating this year in this strategic gathering. C.J. will preach four times (as well as preaching at the Arche Church on Sunday morning), and Jeff will preach three times.
The Arche Church is a partner church in Sovereign Grace Ministries, and we had the privilege of hosting their pastor Christian Wegert at the Pastors College in 2007-08. A second member of their team, Markus Kniesel, attended the PC this past year. The mission video we did a few years back highlighting the story of Christian and his father Wolfgang provides an inspiring glimpse into what God is doing in Germany through the Arche Church and the Wegert family.
We treasure the close relationship we share with the Arche Church, and it is our prayer that God would use C.J. and Jeff to strengthen and encourage this dear church. Let’s ask the Lord for much fruit over these next few days – that the gospel would be proclaimed and lives changed in the land of the Reformation and beyond. May God be glorified!
Last October, Christian Wegert was installed as the new senior pastor of Arche Church—the Sovereign Grace church in Hamburg, Germany. You may recall Christian as the Pastors College student whom we featured in our 2008 Mission Presentation.
A week after becoming senior pastor, Christian, along with his father Wolfgang, joined Jeff Purswell to film an interview that explores the history of Arche Church, how they joined Sovereign Grace Ministries, and what they are doing to reach German-speaking Europe with the gospel. The video below is an excerpt from that interview that explains how and why Christian became the senior pastor. The whole interview was an hour long, so we broke the rest into shorter segments which you can browse using the list of links below the video.
(If you're reading this in an email or RSS reader, you may need to visit our website to see the video.)
Table of contents for Jeff Purswell's interview with Christian and Wolfgang Wegert
- Converted and preaching at age 16: how Wolfgang became a Christian and began ministry
- 1974: Wolfgang takes the reigns as senior pastor of Arche Church
- The spiritual landscape of Germany: is it still a Christian nation?
- From TV to church planting: how broadcasting sermons paved the way for new churches in Europe
- "We decided to write an email": Sovereign Grace Ministries' surprising introduction to Arche Church
- From one generation to the next: why Wolfgang changed his mind about handing over leadership of the church
- Leading through change: how the elders prepared Arche Church for a new senior pastor
- The gospel must be preached: Arche Church's future with Sovereign Grace Ministries and the mission to plant churches
- Preparing the next generation of leaders: Wolfgang's dream for pastoral training in Germany
- Watch your life and doctrine: Wolfgang's counsel for young pastors entering the ministry