It was a great gathering - John and Stef and authentic, down to earth and have a great demeanor and Ebenezers [NCC's coffee house] basement is always a great venue. Below are some rough notes - I've made some comments that you might be interested in under that.
NCC and Berlin
+ NCC was approached by Reach Global, part of the EFCA, to think about Berlin. A lot of this connection was based on who NCC was as a church
- their core values and DNA - and what Berlin looked like in terms of postChristian Europe, fall of Communism and highly creative
class in the city.
+ This has a business as mission focus - a marketplace ministry similar to Ebenezers.
+ Key pieces of NCC's DNA - 'everything is an experiment' and 'do church in ways that have not beeen done before,' 'church for the unchurched'
+ Paradigm of having John and Stef on staff - not as sent but as part of staff org.
+ Urban cities are all very complex - marketplace ministry in these cities will always be very unique.
+ Berlin is one of the most up and coming cities in Europe right now.
+ Berlin - 3.8M in city core - 5M people including suburbs - 1-2% evangelical , 60-65% atheistic or agnostic
+ Can feel a spiritual heaviness - apathy - some animosity
+ Reconstruction - East and West - grittiness to the city
+ No reverence for anything religious
+ Tourist phase -> picking a neighborhood
+ Mayor touting Berlin as the most tolerant city in the world.
+ German - rational, logical, love philosophical debate without emotions.
+ All Berliners take music in school.
+ Circles of relationships 1 - core team, 2 - friends of friends, 3 - events, house concerts
+ core team includes J&S and 1 American Reach Global intern and 7 Germans
+ looking at an old post office to have a cafe/coffee shop, perhaps an art coop, a place to sell fair trade products from around the NCC global partners - this is in flight, nothing definite yet
+ Opportunity to do something different, tough journey, visceral imagination
+ Challenge for NCC is to allow time for this to grow, to 'let this breathe', this is a tough journey.
1 - This is missional imagination at its best - the opportunity and challenge to create a church expression that hasn't ever been done before, in combination with a business aspect. It is difficult and complex at its best and just in case you haven't realized, it's what is being required here in the US as well.
2 - If you've read my blog for a while, you know I've followed NCC for a while and have had some friends involved there. Love their DNA as a church, it's not for everyone and churches like this don't exist everywhere. Their DNA and this opportunity fit well. Church DNA should be a top filter when determining these kinds of opportunities.
3 - He is right about this being a tough long journey. I love what he said about letting it breathe and how there is a transition from being a tourist to find the right place to live in the city. Sometimes, we might be too impatient for quick results.
Update: found the handout they gave.
Related: Nairobi A18 coffee house