David & Trix Schlaginhaufen visited the States last Sprint and we at VC were fortunate enough to host them for a couple days. They are, without a doubt – this actually verifiable and statistically proven – some of the coolest people I have ever had the privelege of meeting.

They live in Switzerland and are house church planters and soon-to-be parents. I had a great IM conversation with Dave today and I thought it was definitely worth sharing with the blogosphere. Here it is (in its entirety – typos and all):

David Schlaginhaufen: we experienced that people do not believe into salvation through love and grace, more through legalistic things, being part of THE catholic church, and so on. We try to share the Gospel in new ways through thruth and actual stories, interviews with fresh-followers and so on.

Aaron Klinefelter: how is that received?

David Schlaginhaufen: maybe we are doing more a “experience-theology” here. Some hearts are open now and they started to have some appetite for more

David Schlaginhaufen: but parallel we started with LTG and other small and “cleansing” gatherings for disciplehsip

Aaron Klinefelter: tell me more about your “experience-theology”…. i’m intriqued

David Schlaginhaufen: Ok

David Schlaginhaufen: I don’t know the exact english expressions for this stuff. It’s a reason to stay longer in the states to learn your international language better. but I try πŸ™‚

David Schlaginhaufen: One thing is, that people are in a church, that is static since decades. The word is death, the service and the celebration too. There is no freedom and no real community

Aaron Klinefelter: ha, your english is WAY better than my german!!!

David Schlaginhaufen: so we are doing this

David Schlaginhaufen: we did a announcement into newspapers, that we are pray for people public and for free

David Schlaginhaufen: that they can experience the power, love, and grace from God. It sound very esoteric, but people are much more open for eso stuff than for christian things

Aaron Klinefelter: cool

Aaron Klinefelter: what was the response?

David Schlaginhaufen: so three evening 100 – 120 people came to the “community hall” in our village and were exited. We self were very suprised that God showed up in this way. Eyes got opened, broken or wrong bones gave no pain anymore and so on. Even prophetic things we said to the people. Sounds like a charismatic service πŸ™‚ People felt, that here is a God, that is more than sunday morning service and opened completely. So we took the chance and told them actual stories or Jesus stories adapted or stories like the prodigal son and so on

Aaron Klinefelter: nice!

Aaron Klinefelter: who all was involved in putting this together? You and Trix and whoelse?

David Schlaginhaufen: we ask for some who wants to open their houses for small gatherings in family and with friends. A few did. This are this 3-4 Oikos now. Soon there will be the first baptism

Aaron Klinefelter: wow!

Aaron Klinefelter: when did you do this?

David Schlaginhaufen: we’ve got help from fluri, our mentor. He lead us into this kind of ministry. For us, it was the first time. I grew up very evangelical and I had a big conversion after all this πŸ™‚

David Schlaginhaufen: that was around 7.9 december 2004

Aaron Klinefelter: Cool

David Schlaginhaufen: and we have 2 team member who are with us.

Aaron Klinefelter: so was that 100-120 people each night – or in total – either way its cool – just trying to visualize what it was like (do you have pictures?)

David Schlaginhaufen: each. Maybe a friend has some pictures. Will ask him tonight

Aaron Klinefelter: k, thx

Aaron Klinefelter: i’m reading your blog posts on the eveings right now

David Schlaginhaufen: oh yes, it’s maybe called power evangelism or something like that. We are doing two lines. One is this public thing, the other is much more organic through the new Oikos and relationship. A third is, that some of us are going on the streets to ask people about their believes and so we can start to talk about our believe and Jesus

Aaron Klinefelter: I’m so excited for what God is doing in your midst!

Aaron Klinefelter: I really resonate with the first 2 things you are doing – the third – street stuff – is harder for me – not sure if that is a personal obstacle or philosophical…. but it may just be cultural

Aaron Klinefelter: Which is one of the things that strikes me about your story – is how “ripe” (timely and appropriate) this all seemed for you – the people were receptive and open to it

Aaron Klinefelter: my hunch is that this is, in part, a cultural reality – this kinda thing would not work (i don’t think – though others would disagree with me i’m sure) in the US.

David Schlaginhaufen: for me it was like the sientology thing, we are on the street talking with people for a reason, for a cult. sorry, can not describe this feeling. but some got into contact with jesus, two are into discipleship now

Aaron Klinefelter: but obviously in your context it was were the Spirit was moving. I am also encouraged by how you have the focus on moving quickly and deliberately to homes and small settings

David Schlaginhaufen: Yeah, Trix and I were surprised too, because it’s not our “style” how we would work. But God really pressed on into this.

Aaron Klinefelter: my hunch is, again, that this is in part a cultural reality and a good understanding of how people are changed and discipled – through intentional interaction with a “knowable” community of people

David Schlaginhaufen: you’re right, the spirit was moving in this direction. It was helfpul for a fast breakthorugh here. We thought, that we maybe have to wait for a long long time for the first Oikos. But we arrived in June, and now it’s 9 months, and we are middle in work

Aaron Klinefelter: cool

Aaron Klinefelter: so since Dec. – what has happened with the 300 or so people who have been connected in someway – how many house churches are meeting or forming?

David Schlaginhaufen: one is meeting right here around our village, one is in process to be a community

David Schlaginhaufen: another one is about 20 min from here

David Schlaginhaufen: and there they are doing two baby churches

David Schlaginhaufen: so from this we have 2 stabalized and 2 very newborn churches

Aaron Klinefelter: cool – how many folks in each?

David Schlaginhaufen: depends. between 10-12 (with kids up to 20)

David Schlaginhaufen: many many kids

Aaron Klinefelter: very cool.

Aaron Klinefelter: now i really really want to come visit!

David Schlaginhaufen: hehe, you are very welcome πŸ™‚

Aaron Klinefelter: how are you doing leadership – is there a “pastor” of each house church or are they team lead or consenus-driven?

David Schlaginhaufen: 20min away we have a family, they were already christians. They try to disciple the new ones with help from us and our two other friends in this area. Our team, Trix, I, Adrian and Andreas are a “spiritual family” and are doing disciple ship with this around us.

David Schlaginhaufen: so we wait a little bit and set the new ones as “father/mothers” of the new oikos

David Schlaginhaufen: like elderly’s

Aaron Klinefelter: sounds very team-oriented/familial – very relational. makes sense

David Schlaginhaufen: ?

David Schlaginhaufen: yeah, maybe more later or to another time, we have a team time right now. friends are coming

Aaron Klinefelter: yeah – probably a good understanding of biblical elders – older brothers/sisters and mother/fathers of the faith

Aaron Klinefelter: hey would you mind if i posted our IM conversation on my blog? I think others would love to read this and hear your story.

David Schlaginhaufen: no problem, do wathever you want to do πŸ™‚ next time I need a proofreader first . king regards

Aaron Klinefelter: your heart and passion come through no matter the language!

Read more about their December gatherings here: post scriptum: December 2004


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