close the eyes. On stage, Gabriel is Häsler and pray. Psalm 121. He speaks of Jesus that brings healing and salvation. "Miracles happen even today", calls Häsler in the crowd. He spreads his arms, goes up and down. On screens to the left and to the right of the Bible appear in quotes. On the right-hand edge of a large wooden cross.
Gabriel Häsler is 39 years old, a theologian, Event speakers, Musical producer, Blogger. With his wife Madeleine, he founded the Non-Profit organization network of Switzerland. With public Relations for Free - and country churches, he describes his Job. A PR man of God, that is. A part of his work is the Musical "Life on Stage", which is currently listed in Berne. For one week, six shows, over 1000 spectators each evening.
According to the Musical Gabriel Häsler picks up the story in a sermon. (Image: Manuel Zingg)
Häsler connects the Musical with the sermon. It is organized by the spectacle of 28 free churches from the Region of Bern, the Know-how to deliver Häsler network Switzerland. "Event evangelism" is in the program.
Why the churches are not empty
should be able to churches to be The land of the full series can only dream of. You the members run it. The free churches have, according to experts, stable members, some communities will experience even growth – even if partly at the expense of other free churches. To be precise it can be.
churches, whether Free - or country churches, must not be empty, Gabriel Häsler convinced. "Empty you're not there, where the parish people see the Bible more as a collection of symbolic anecdotes, where pastors believe that God speaks through the Bible to us." He believe in a God who will do miracles – even today. And the people, so Gabriel Häsler more, the big questions: where did we come from? Where are we going? The Church can give answers to these questions.
competition to the worldly leisure activities
The festival hall in Berne, a high room, black concrete, fans on the ceiling, in red and violet light. On stage, Claudia is seated, the protagonist of the musical. It tells the story of her older son, Florian, the Hyper is active, and from their younger son, Benjamin, suffers from eczema and allergies. She cares for Benjamin, makes Florian in Trouble. She takes care of Florian, makes Benjamin wheel. Claudia is crying, on his knees, hits with the Hand on the ground. Music. Three dancers enter the stage.
dance, music, spectacle. Typically, says Jörg Stolz, sociologist of Religion at the University of Lausanne. The free churches knew that they were a minority. Their world, in which God is omnipresent, will constantly be confiscated by the secular leisure activities competing with one another. So what do you do? "The free churches have created a parallel world," says Pride. They have their own music, their own movies or their own Musicals. In the process, they distance themselves from society. On the contrary: In the past, the free churches have taken up elements of the current fashion, for example, the Hippie or disco culture.
"Empty the churches where the parish people see the Bible more as a collection of symbolic anecdotes."Gabriel Häsler, Event-preacher
The falls at "Life on Stage". Middle-aged men with Dreads and sandals, couples in Biker garb, young women with dresses from the Thrift Shop, other with Canada Goose jacket. An Image of the company. "Nice wars", says one woman after the show. "The stories, the fates. It's touched me." Your friend agrees. The prayer in the group, jointly commit to Jesus, it was insanely intense. "I'm a Catholic. But we trust all to Jesus. This is the main thing," he says.
Worldly temptation is not against the Faith. At least in the Berner Festhalle. Why this is so, is religion sociologist Proud of the socialisation in a free Church environment. The Religion is the Central value in the community, and the Faith will be passed down from Generation to Generation, in contrast to the secular families in which the Faith loses more and more importance. Many Church members grew up also Evangelical.
Elisabeth Noth is Professor of pastoral care and psychology of religion at the University of Bern. She says that it is the free churches successful, people from other Milieus to address. You take on friends or Acquaintances on the service, offer courses, advertise on the road. Anyone who tries to learn a sense of community and togetherness.
So that churches are free towards the country Church in the advantage. Because the would have to be for everyone, which is why they are pluralistic-oriented. "While this is laudable, but reaches less binding force," says Noth. In the free churches to meet like-Minded people to each other, the consequences of a supposedly clear message: the commitment to the Bible. But the need for the interpretation. The Bible is diverse and mute Christians, with the complex together to tackle slopes, contradictions endure. "Christians, whether in Free or in country churches, make it easy, if you mean the commitment to the Bible offer clear instructions for complex questions."
"What you don't know, raises questions"
A conservative view of the world, an Either / or attitude that does not allow for ambivalence. The free churches are struggling with prejudice and aversion. Where does it come from? Marc Jost is the General Secretary of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, the Free - as well as country churches belong to. He notes that the Knowledge of Faith and Religion is often absent. "What you don't know, raises a number of questions and can make you afraid."
"What you don't know, raises a number of questions and can make you afraid."Marc Jost, Swiss Evangelical Alliance
In a world in which there no longer seems to be the truth, act the free churches of the time. The strong orientation to the Bible, the solid Beliefs about love and sexuality are against the Mainstream, so Jost. This is intentional, because a lot of people were longing for during this orientation time to clear messages. "On the other the can act but also a little suspect." This could lead to tensions, says Jost. "If your life style does not fit to the message of the Bible, feel members uncomfortable, and in some cases leave the Church then. This is the decision of each Individual."
In the Berner Festhalle, the Finale on the stage. Claudia, the overburdened mother, found no help in conventional medicine when homeopaths. Then, motivated by her friend, she learns to trust in Jesus. She speaks a prayer for your son, the next day his eczema is gone. A miracle, just like that. It is the typical conversion story. From the dark valley to enlightenment.
After the performance, the visitors gather in the Foyer. At a Stand the books with the true story of Claudia's, CDs with the songs from the Musical. To Christian to lie glossy magazines, in addition to Bibles in different languages – free to Take. The Budget organizer Gabriel Häsler don't want to talk. Only so much: is supported by sponsors, donations, collections and contributions of the churches.
While helper the content of the collection-Moneybox in the bags empty, the visitors on the way home. A group of young people talking in the Tram on the experience Musical. They disagree on whether that of the ICF, another Church that was better.
Created: 29.11.2019, 18:00 clock