We are pleased to announce that Stephan Pues, church planter and local network leader from Frankfurt, Germany, is the new director of City to City Europe (CTCE). Stephan was recently in the NYC office, and we asked him about this new position.
Susan Thorson: Stephan, tell us about becoming the director of CTCE.
Stephan Pues: I came in contact with City to City through an online talk by Tim Keller about church planting and the gospel, and I thought he or the network he was associated with could help me. I came to New York to be trained in 2012 at the International Intensive. My wife and I planted a church in Frankfurt, and then we started working with CTCE. I became a catalyst for a network in Austria, Switzerland and Germany and then began leading our city network. I always wanted to help the network — not just my church or my city but the whole network. And I think that all came together to the point that when [City to City’s] Al Barth asked himself who could lead the network in Europe, he thought of me.
Susan: So what does it mean for the network to now have a European director?
Stephan: When Al was the director, he did a great job. There’s no doubt about that. But in addition to Europe, he was there for Africa and the Middle East and North America, and he was an American. So I think it is interesting to have someone who is from Europe, who knows it from the inside. I think it is a good step that I really value from City to City that you now have a European leading Europe or an Asian doing the same in Asia and so on. Everybody has given positive feedback about that.
Susan: What's your immediate focus in this role?
Stephan: We're trying to add a new board, so developing the official structure of the network — that's my biggest job right now. Then I will find support for the network and participate in training and coaching. I also want to be more intentional about building the network’s communication. We're not good at really putting the amazing things going on in CTCE somewhere that everybody sees it. That's one thing I really want to grow.
Susan: Can you highlight something you are encouraged about with CTCE?
Stephan: Oh, many. A couple weeks ago I was in Birmingham, UK. About 10 years ago, two leaders from different denominations with a gospel-centered vision to plant more churches in the city started Birmingham 2020, which was a strategy to plant 20 more churches by 2020. They’re on track to surpass that and now have this idea of Birmingham 2030, which means between 2020 and 2030 they will plant 30 more churches. And then their goal is that each of those 50 churches plants a church in the next ten years. So that's a hundred churches planted in 30 years in their city. We’re seeing one of those gospel movements we always talk about.
They have training, coaching, recruiting and are even producing resources and content that can be used other places in the UK and Europe. So that’s an ecosystem. It was quite an encouraging thing to be there and to see how it could look. If we could see movements like that in every major city in Europe or in the world, that is something I think we all work for. This is our dream.