Seeds of Faith
by Karah Leaman
There is a strange sweet camaraderie among those who find themselves together in the margins.
In our German city of 220,000 people, there were relatively few Jesus-followers, belonging to only a small handful of churches. You’d think collaboration would be a priority, no? Resource-sharing! Encouragement! Broader fellowship!
But it took years and focused intention from a few local visionaries before these churches started looking like they belonged to one Body. It began with the pastors and leaders, who met monthly, not to collaborate or to update, but to pray for one another.
Jump ahead a year. The monthly meetings cultivated trust and appreciation. A few well-received prayer and worship evenings gave way to plans for a combined worship service. There were so few of us that we could all fit in one church’s yard (out of a city of a quarter million people. Maybe we let that sink in?)
A group service meant forming combi-worship teams and a multi-church choir. Prayer would be led by representatives with vastly different emphases. Some wanted creedal recitations and others wanted spontaneous healings. And on that day, by God’s mercy, we worshiped. And we enjoyed that singular flavor of fellowship only tasted by those who have nothing in common but King Jesus. Eventually, the twice-annual worship service moved to the Marktplatz, the center of town. Another story for another day.
Other projects started taking shape, some initiated by the leaders, and some, like mine, born out of new relationships across church borders. A few of us from the combined worship band and choir started dreaming about an album of Scripture songs, performed in a variety of styles. It seemed like something Germany was missing.
If this were a movie, the montage of writing, rehearsing, fund-raising, quitting, restarting, recruiting, recording, editing, mixing, and releasing would go right here.
Now, praise God, it’s finished: an album recorded and funded by the handful of churches who decided to join together in the margin. It is to be a gift from our city to the German-speaking world.
And you, Reader, are most welcome to hear it! The album Glaubenskörner, meaning seeds of faith, was released in March. Stream it anywhere you listen to music, or buy the digital download to support future projects. The verse references are listed after each title in case you want to follow along with the English text. Photos, samples, and social media links can be found at the website www.glaubenskoerner.de.
We are thankful for the fellowship of the Believers in our city; we are thankful to Barnabas Initiatives for the many encouraging discussions during the regrowth of our church; and we are thankful to God for surprising us with the joy of making this album.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Karah Leaman, along with her husband, Bryan, and four children, lived from 2013-2019 in Halle, Germany. They were members and leaders at Soli Deo Mennonite Church, an international multi-lingual faith community.