Evangelists in Germany used modern music, dance, and drama in Europe's first satellite "Christian megaparty," which drew 120,000 young people to 430 venues across Germany and parts of German-speaking Austria, Poland, Croatia, Luxembourg, and Italy.
With a satellite feed from Nuremberg, the nondenominational "Jesus House" event featured music of the British dancefloor group World Wide Message Tribe and reggae-pop sounds of Caribbean singer Judy Bailey.
"Originally we had hoped for 50 venues all over the country," youth evangelist Roland Werner told CT. "The fact that it became more than 430 really surprised us."
According to Werner, more than 2,000 young people turned in response cards indicating conversion or rededication to Christ.
Christian young adults invited friends to venues at churches, swimming pools, discos, shops, and movie theaters. Local youth groups organized music and interviews prior to the start of 90-minute transmissions January 30 and 31.
Jesus House cost $140,000, mostly to cover satellite and technical crew fees. More than 1,400 Christian groups took part in the event, broadcast live over Christian radio and the Internet.
"Such evangelical youth programs offer a great setting to bring friends, who can see for themselves that being a Christian is not boring," says Ditmar Pauck, a Free Evangelical youth pastor who coordinated a satellite reception venue in Bonn.
Lively music and dance served a purpose in Jesus House, asserts Pauck, a drummer. "You have to be direct with youth in terms of their language and culture," he says. "You have to create a setting and work in the message."
About 3 percent of Germany's 82 million people are evangelical Christians.1