My name is Andreas Unrau. I am 33 years old, I am from Soest, Germany, and I have been married to my wife Ewelina for 12 years. God has blessed us with four children. 10 years ago, my wife and I did the Bible Survey program at the EBTC. Being on the receiving end of expository preaching, I began to see the power of God’s Word in my life. God’s Word has greatly impacted and changed me during that time.
As my desire to study God’s Word grew, I signed up for the two-year course on expository preaching at the EBTC. These two years taught me how to handle the Word of God properly: with a correct understanding of the preacher’s responsibility, a high appreciation for the value of preaching and an awareness of the power that lies in the preaching of God’s Word (Eph. 4:11–16).
During that time, I began to see the great importance of the local church and it dawned on me that there is really nothing on earth more precious to God than the local church!
I moved my family to Berlin for two years to do an internship that would help me build on what I had learned and see how church ministry is done practically, with regards to:
- elder meetings
- future planning
- membership process
After two years, we moved back to our home church in Soest where I am now part of the leadership team, preparing to become an elder.
For several years, our leadership team was privileged to attend the Shepherds’ Conference of the EBTC.
One of the first changes we implemented at church was in regard to preaching. We began to preach God’s Word expositionally, with the assistance of a teacher from the EBTC. We talked a lot about eldership and read through the book „Biblical Eldership“ by Alexander Strauch. As we asked ourselves the question, „How is our church doing spiritually?“, we began studying the marks of a healthy church. We are now in the process of teaching and implementing these characteristics one by one.
One example is church membership. Until recently, we didn’t have membership in the church. So, we started teaching on it and implemented it little by little. A lot remains to be done, but we want to be faithful. The following is one of my favorite verses. God has entrusted something to me that I may be a faithful steward:
“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” (1Cor 4:1–2)
Meanwhile, a lot has happened at our church in Soest. More brothers and sisters have joined the church, so we have almost 240 church members. Some were very skeptical at first about the bible school in general, but also about the changes we as leadership have undertaken. For this reason, Eduard, one of our elders and over 60 years of age, decided to study at the EBTC for a year with a two-fold intention: on the one hand, he wanted to grow and be equipped, but on the other hand he also wanted to see what the bible school was teaching and whether or not more church members should be allowed to study there. After a year, he was overwhelmed by the way the Word of God was handled and by the clarity of the teaching.
By now, another elder and several deacons are students at the EBTC.
This year, our church is hosting 150 students at one of the EBTC campuses once a month.