Getting a Church Plant Started (with David Holey)

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Tell Us Who You Are and How You Got Into Church Planting

  • David is from Dresden in the East of Germany.
  • He is married to Jescharela.
  • He has been working as a youth pastor.
  • Initially, he wasn’t interested in working for a church. His dad is a pastor and David wanted to do something different.
  • He went to America for a while, and God spoke to him about church leadership.
  • He studied theology.
  • God laid on David’s heart to plant a church in Dresden with young people that is modern and authentic.

What is Dresden Like?

  • It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
  • It has a very distinct culture.
  • There is a university with 50,000 students.
  • The part of the city in which David is planting has lots of young adults, bars, etc.
  • The city has a lot of history, including recent history – it is ex-communist.

Are There Many Christians or Churches There?

  • East Germany has very few believers (around 0.9% of the population).
  • There are some people who go to older Catholic churches, but these are dying out.
  • If the harvest is pretty hard, this means that it is a good place to see God do a miracle.

Why Did You Start By Going For Students and Young People?

  • They have lots of energy.
  • They want to be part of something.
  • They are spontaneous.
  • They are flexible.
  • When you work with students, it is much easier to see people bringing friends.
  • It’s full of life.
  • It can be crazy in terms of the things that students are living for.

How Did You Get the First Group of People For Your Church Plant?

  • Be brave and courageous – you can’t do it sitting in your living room.
  • Take some risks.
  • Learn to trust God.
  • Building relationships is key – especially with students.
  • Invest time.
  • Hang out with people and talk to them.
  • They are not just team members, they are friends.
  • Before launching their services, they have around 4 months of relationship building time, barbeques, etc.

“Most young people are not looking for a pastor, they are looking for friends.” (David Holey)

How Quickly Did You Try To Launch a Sunday Meeting?

  • After this relationship building time, they looked for a venue.
  • They had a couple of low key worship times and then did a grand opening.
  • They debated how regularly to have their meetings, but decided to go for every week.
  • When you build something, there is usually a cost.

At What Point Did You First Become Confident That It Would Work?

  • When they had the grand opening and there were 55 people there.
  • God challenged David, ‘what if next week there are just 10 people?’ David said he would still be grateful. The next week there were just 10 people, and he was.
  • It made David realise that there really are people who are looking for that kind of church.

What Do You Do To Engage New People and Build Them Into Your Community?

  • When there are new people, go and talk to them.
  • Get contact details.
  • Get people plugged into small groups.
  • As a leader, invest time into people who you see as leaders in the future.
  • Try to get them involved in things.
  • Listen to them and ask questions.

How Has Planting a Church Affected You Personally?


  1. How did you manage your time?
  • David needs to get more structure into his schedule.
  • He tries to get up early to spend time with God.
  • He has asked a few friends to watch out for when he tries to do too much.
  • He tries to set his priorities, and cancel some things that are less important.
  1. How have you financed yourself?
  • The church plant is still linked to the sending church, who pay the rent on the building.
  • They teach people right from the very start of the church plant to invest finances in the kingdom of God.
  • Jeschi works full time.
  1. When you were networking, was this with Christians or non-Christians?
  • Around 60% of the people were Christians.
  • He wasn’t looking to recruit Christians that are disillusioned with their current churches.
  • Even now, in the services, there are 30% non-Christians.
  1. What percentage of the people that you invested in relationships with actually joined the church, and how do you handle the disappointment when people don’t?
  • About 10-15% of people joined the church.
  • Often the people who didn’t join ended up leading to other contacts who did.
  1. How many people have been saved in the church?
  • A lot of the people who had no Christian background are still on their way.
  • Some people who came from ‘Christian’ background but didn’t know God have been saved.
  1. Practically, what does evangelism look like for you?
  • Trying to do social events so that people can meet Christians and see that they are normal and fun.
  1. What is the meeting like, and how much of the preaching do you do?
  • Quite a typical meeting – worship lead by awesome musicians and a preach.
  • David does quite a lot of the preaching.
  1. What is your leadership team like?
  • David didn’t worry about it at first, he just asked God to send some people along.
  • Now there is a team of around 12 people.
  • The next step for David is building a core team of 3-4 of them.
  • Sometimes, you have a small window of time to draw people with potential into leadership.
  1. How do you deal with people who have a lack of vision?
  • It is down to the leaders to bring vision.
  • If people can’t go along with it, they need to leave.
  • Be courageous in speaking about the vision.
  1. Given the value of building church across many generations, do you have a plan to build in people from different generations?
  • Let God be the director.
  • Students and young people is the step they are going for at the moment.
  • It probably won’t be long until babies come along, and when they do that will be the next step to figure out.
  1. Do you have any final comments?
  • Don’t forget about praying.