MIWC's Training Program in Germany Advances With Janzen Trip
Power of prayer evident throughout trip, Janzen said
Continuing MIWC's commitment to develop a training program at the European Bible Training Center (EBTC), MIWC Associate James Janzen spent three weeks in Germany earlier this summer advancing the music ministry program that is aimed at men and women in their local churches.
Janzen acted as consultant to Thomas Hochstetter, EBTC's Musikdienst coordinator, while also researching the kinds of churches connected to the training center. Janzen said he first needed to understand the cultural forces at work in the churches, their points of tension, the characteristics of their students and the needs and wants of the congregations. This need for information led him to Hirtenkonferenz 2014, a gathering of pastors, elders and men in training from many different churches to find inspiration, fellowship and exposition of the Word of God.
Hirtenkonferenz took place in Lutherstadt, Wittenberg, birthplace of the Reformation.
"Here we were surrounded by reminders of the impact of [Martin] Luther's teaching," Janzen said. The whole city, he added, is gearing up for 2017 – the 500th anniversary of Luther's posting of the 95 theses and the beginning of the Reformation.
While time to connect with conference goers was extremely limited by the conference's packed agenda, Janzen was amazed that every break and meal time found him in extended meaningful conversations.
"It was clear that God was scheduling things, and as a result, many valuable contacts were made resulting in referrals, phone calls, conversations, ideas and even a special, unplanned trip," he said.
"I left the conference with a much clearer understanding of the situation as related to the proposed training program."
After Hirtenkonferenz ended, Janzen traveled to Berlin to meet with EBTC's director, Christian Andresen, and Hochstetter. Hochstetter coordinates and teaches Musikdienst, a one-year training program for men and women involved in church ministry.
The trio met to plan a yearly concert that will become a part of Hirtenkonferenz – the goal of the concert is to inspire leaders to use quality music in their churches, provide a model and present practical implementation ideas. The concert series will climax with the Luther 2017 celebration in Wittenberg.
The concert series will focus on:
- Proclaiming the Word: Text will clearly present biblical truth and connect with the conference's theme – The Reformation and the inerrancy and power of the Word of God.
- Worship: The concert will feel like a time of worship, not a performance.
- Unity and Community: Attempts will be made to bring together musicians from various churches, bringing a "face" to the proposed training program.
- Clear Testimony: All performers should have a clear Christian testimony.
While in Gemany, Janzen also introduced MIWC to Friedemann Muessling and the Musikakademie in Stuttgart. The CMKA (Christliche Musik und Kunst Akademie) is developing a master level interdisciplinary training program for music pastors. He feels MIWC's foundational values will uniquely help CMKA as they are building their focus on music, theology and coaching/management.
Prayer Requests from Janzen:
- Wisdom, strength and creativity for Thomas Hochstetter as he finishes curriculum planning and spends the next year running a pilot program with musicians from his church in Berlin.
- That God would lead them to the right musicians for the proposed concert series. Musicians will need to pay their costs related to travel and accommodation and give generously of their time for preparation.
- That God would provide a core choir and instrumental group to anchor the concerts and enable others to be part of a new experience for them.
- Wisdom for Janzen as he comes alongside the various groups in Germany.
- Preparation for Janzen's materials for delivery to Germany.
- Effective training programs for musicians in Germany.