Calvary Chapel Hannover, Germany
Continuing the 2005 series of interviews with pastors from various Calvary Chapels around Europe, Calvary News Network has put 10 questions to Pastor Peter Will of CC Hannover. In this interview, the 61 year-old Scottish pastor shares his testimony and his experience from decades of ministry in Germany, and talks about the challenges involved with bringing the CC movement across the Atlantic. Peter Will is one of the speakers at this summerís Scandinavian CC conference in Malmo.
How did you become a follower of Jesus Christ and, later on, get called to be a pastor?
My Dad and Mum were missionaries for twenty years in South America. So I was brought up in a Christian home and heard the Gospel mornings, midday and evenings. Although I believed, I never committed my life completely to the Lord until I had almost completely destroyed my life through sin and rebellion against God and my parents. It was at the age of 32 that the Lord saved me out of a violent life dominated by alcohol, theft and prostitution. I was saved in 1973 and had a calling to India as a missionary in 1979. After returning from India in the late 1980s, I began to take over the responsibility as pastor.
Personally, what is your biggest challenge in the on-going duty as pastor?
To trust the Lord to care for the material and spiritual needs within the church and not be tempted to do things He would rather do Himself. "Not by might or power but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).
What is God doing in, through, and around CC Hannover these days?
The church is growing slowly, but surely. Our outreach is mainly through personal contacts; school kids, students and families bring their friends, neighbors and relatives to church.
What church needs is CC Hannover lifting up before God these days?
Our greatest material need is the provision of new premises. Our greatest spiritual need is the work of the Holy Spirit breaking and remolding lives.
In your view, what part of the culture and mentality in Europe is the biggest obstacle to overcome when advocating a
personal, living relationship with Jesus Christ?
I believe that modern education science (pedagogics), anti-authoritarian teaching, the women's liberation movement, psychology and the loss of Christian morals are the greatest obstacles to the spreading of the Gospel in Europe today.
How do the Germans respond to seeing a Scottish pastor at work among them?
Apart from small cultural barriers, I believe it's no big problem. Itís probably because I am also a European and have lived in Germany since the early 1960s. I have been here as a soldier, and after leaving the army I had different jobs from building to working as a salesman.
What do you see as being the biggest challenge for leaders within the Calvary Chapel movement right
Since the Calvary Chapel movement has crossed the Atlantic, we are faced with the challenge on both sides to look up to each other in love and respect. I believe both Americans and Europeans must be ready to learn from each other Ė if not so, we're going to continue to run into unnecessary tensions and problems and, in many cases, be an obstacle rather than a vessel to the furthering of the Gospel.
What book of the Bible are you teaching through at the moment, and what messages has God seemed to especially
personalize for you as a congregation in that process?
On Sundays we are in Exodus. It's a means of great blessing to us as we pray and plan to move on to new premises. On Wednesdays we are currently going through the Acts of the Apostles, where we are also blessed as we see God's principles and priorities concerning church growth.
What preparatory advice would you give someone who is considering becoming a missionary in Europe (whether that person
is European or not)?
It's difficult and maybe even impossible to prepare someone for Europe or any other continent or country before the particular person arrives and is living in the country they will, God willing, later minister in. Before they leave their own country, they must be irrespective of their training or experience at home, aware of the fact that they first of all come to learn and serve. This should be secured through the fact that the missionary is embedded in the structures of a local church and under the authority of a local pastor. There must be clear and regular communication between the involved churches (the sending church and the local church).
What are you hoping to get out of this summerís Scandinavian Calvary Chapel conference in Malmo?
I've been in Denmark and Sweden on two occasions and have Swedish missionary friends, and it's my desire to get to know you all better and enjoy the fellowship.
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You can read more about Koinonia Calvary Chapel Hannover by visiting the churchís official website