In late September 2010, some members of the MIWC ministry team in Ukraine answered an invitation to conduct music outreach ministry in Russian-speaking churches in Germany. Since that time, MIWC leaders prayed about how a vision for this particular ministry might become reality.
Then in January of 2012, a church training institute (the EBTC) contacted MIWC about the possibility of teaching music and worship in Germany. The contact from the institute explained it this way, "Although Germany has such a rich culture musically speaking; there is a quite a lack of biblical understanding on how God gave this gift to mankind in general and the church in particular.”
After further conversations with the training center, MIWC leadership realized while Germany was the center of sacred music 400 years ago, secular influences have been so powerful that church leaders now desperately need a theological basis for making decisions regarding the worship life of their churches.
MIWC President Steve Benham traveled to Stuttgart, Germany in May 2012, where he met with the training institute leaders about developing a strategy for music and worship training. In conjunction with the institute, MIWC was asked to design courses and assist with training nationals.
Later in 2012, Benham invited James Janzen to join MIWC as an associate, formalizing a partnership that had already been active for quite a number of years, especially in Ukraine. With Janzen’s German language proficiency and contacts in Germany, it seemed a good time to ask him to become an MIWC Project Associate in Eastern Europe with the immediate focus of Project Director—Germany.
The main focus of Janzen’s work has been to assist the EBTC in the establishment of a worship ministry program, entitled Musikdienst. Using his extensive college experience in curriculum development as Chairman of the Performing Arts Department at Prairie Bible College, he has been helping to shape curriculum, plan for effective program delivery, determine content of courses and assist in teaching. He has also participated in the yearly conference for pastors, the Hirtenkonferenz, that takes place in the Luther city – Wittenberg, Germany. In order for supporting churches to get a clearer picture of what the practical element of the music training would look like stylistically, Janzen has rehearsed and conducted a male choir at this conference.
Since 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Hirtenkonferenz 2017 will be significantly expanded with an international focus. MIWC will have an additional involvement with Evangelion's participation in the conference.
In the last three years, Janzen has also provided consulting services, choral master classes, seminars and teaching in the areas of worship with a number of churches in Germany.