Trinity is a "church without walls," launching unconventional campuses in places where God can use Trinity to uniquely present His Gospel. A campus in Stuttgart, Germany, fits with Trinity’s “Reach the Beach, Reach the World” vision that has been a guiding principle for the church since the beginning. While Trinity currently ministers to military families here in Virginia Beach, a campus in Stuttgart will allow the church to serve the more than 23,000 servicemen and women there, as well as an expanding population of expatriates involved in the large international business community. The Stuttgart campus has the distinction of being both another campus of Trinity Church and an international missions initiative. We're calling it our first “Mission Campus.” In Stuttgart, much like Virginia Beach, those who will be reached with the Gospel there are highly mobile and have the potential to take the message of Jesus Christ all across the globe.
It is our prayer that this opportunity in Stuttgart will continue Trinity’s commitment to the multi-site approach, enhance the ability to serve military families and will help to accomplish the desire to make disciples of Jesus Christ around the globe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why a church campus and not a church plant?
The original vision for Trinity Church | Stuttgart was to be an extension of Trinity Church rather than from Trinity Church. A church plant is intended to be a free-standing church within a few years, but a campus is intended to always remain a part of Trinity Church. We believe this connection is critical to the success of Stuttgart so that many military families will be able to have a spiritual home in Trinity Church whether in Virginia Beach or Stuttgart. The DNA, leadership and service elements are intended to be familiar, requiring all campuses to ebb and flow as one body in worship-style, teaching and fellowship. We believe that the technology of the Twenty-First Century will allow for a new type of church in the Twenty-First Century - an international church where many different people groups and continents are all part of the same church body.
How does this relate to missions?
Stuttgart’s unique demographics bring it fully into the spotlight as a missions opportunity. A very small percentage (2-3%) of people in Germany profess to be Evangelical Christians. While this is a sobering fact, it is encouraging to recognize that Stuttgart has a large number of people sent to and from the community to places around the globe. This means that when the Gospel is received there, Stuttgart can be a “sending community,” sending the Gospel across the world. Additionally, Stuttgart is home to 23,000 (and growing) US service members and their families in a place where there is only a very small handful of English-speaking churches. It is also interesting to note that among the 5.3 million people in the metropolitan area, 40% are not from the area, working in the large international business sector, of which English is the primary language. God has uniquely gifted Trinity Church to minister in the military and business sectors in Hampton Roads and there is a very similar need in Stuttgart. Trinity Stuttgart will be an English-speaking, evangelical church that makes disciples in the military, in the business world and in the community of English-speaking Germans and expatriates, and then equips those people to bring the Gospel with them wherever they go.
How will you handle the preaching?
The preaching at the Stuttgart Campus will be delivered in person by the campus pastor once per month and through video sermons from Virginia Beach all other weeks.
Are there plans for a German-speaking service?
The first several years will be devoted to reaching our military stationed in Stuttgart along with the international business men and women in the area who speak English. The campus could potentially expand to include a German-speaking service, after the English-speaking congregation is firmly established.
Are there plans for other international campuses?
We are always open to the moving of the Spirit to guide and direct. There are no concrete plans for additional international campuses right now, but Stuttgart could prove the model and open the door for others.
How long of a commitment does the Campus Pastor have to being in Germany to launch the campus?
In order to properly start, grow and maintain a new campus, we believe the Campus Pastor will likely need to serve for a minimum of five years in Germany. There is, however, no specific commitment or contract mandated by the Elder Board at this time.
Are there plans for additional staff?
Part-time staff has been budgeted for campus year two. The need for staff will be assessed by the Campus Pastor and Elder leadership in the third quarter of year one. Additionally, three-month and one-year internship programs could be made available to qualifying ministry candidates.
Have other churches launched international campuses?
Yes. In our due diligence, we discovered that international campuses are a growing movement among multi-site churches. For example, Saddleback Church (pastored by The Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren) has four international campuses (including one in Berlin).
How will the Stuttgart Campus be funded?
The Stuttgart Campus will be funded by a mixture of sources. As Trinity's first "Mission Campus," it will be partly supported from our Missions giving, partly from the general operations budget and finally from the local congregation once the campus officially launches. Though our prayerful hope is that it will be self-sustaining, we are budgeting with the expectation that it will need ongoing financial assistance for the forseeable future.
Who will be the Stuttgart Campus Pastor?
Tommie Bozich will take on the role of Stuttgart Campus Pastor / Worship Leader and step down as Town Center Campus Pastor / Worship Leader. Tommie and his wife, Alisa, are leading the charge on this mission and feel they are responding to the call God has placed on their family to pursue this. The Bozich family will head to Stuttgart this summer to begin their mission.
What kind of due diligence was conducted regarding Stuttgart?
An extensive Ministry Plan and Assessment was prepared working in conjunction with a professional consultant, and Tommie and Alisa went through an extensive process to assess their suitability for this particular ministry. They passed (!), and their deep but differing skill sets made them very compatible to pursue this ministry together. The Bozichs have conducted site visits in Stuttgart and made connections with military personnel currently and formerly stationed in the area, with the German Lutheran church (both in Germany and the U.S.) and the campus pastor of the Berlin Campus of a U.S.-based Church.