The Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Munich Waldfrieden is not a literal church planting project, but more of a church refocusing. The process started in 2012, when Miodrag (Miki) Jovanovic became the new pastor. Back then, the church had about 30 members.
The change started, when a cooperation between the kindergarten and the church was established. Most of the parents are Non-Adventists but appreciate Christian values in the upbringing of their kids. Out of the leadership of the kindergarten, the initiative arose to offer a special worship service for children- including the children, the parents and the church. Suddenly many Non-Adventist visitors were in the church. Friendships formed and the church rejuvenated. The guests posed new questions, the church was not used to. Church members had new courage and invited friends. “Friends heal the church”, as Miki states. In the meantime, the church has 95 baptized members.
A special focus is put on the integration of guests. When new persons come, the goal is that they are approached five times, before they go home again. Only this way, friendships can be built. Friendships are of high value in the course of conversion. “Who doesn’t find friends, leaves” (Miki). That means, most people who are leaving the church, or don’t return after a visit, are leaving because they could not find friends or build a relationship.
Spiritual friends are important, to find a place in the church and to grow in faith. In order to build and deepen these friendships, the church offers a lot of social events. The goal was, to offer relevant activities. Among others there now are a repair café, a clothes swap, a handicraft hour and several care groups.