Vor einem Monat, am 13.Oktober 2022 ging der Guardian des deutschen TOM-Zweigs
nach Hause zu seinem himmlischen Vater.
Lebenslauf (Stefan Taut) und Predigt zum Thema Paradies (Werner Schleifenbaum) bei der Trauerfeier am 21.10.2022 im Bernhäuser Forst.
One month ago, on the 13th of October 2022 our German TOM Guardian
went home to our Heavenly Father.
Members of the Order of Mission in Germany discerned six Defining Qualities of Reinhold. Our brother, passionate lover of Jesus; of Jesus’ Church; and of all he met. Creative visionary; exceptionally clear and sharp thinker and remarkably gifted relationally. One of our closest most valued friends.
We summarise 6 headings that make up Reinhold’s life for us. (Developed in more detail in his Celebration Eulogy – link here).
Road Builder, Pioneer, Networker, Apologist, Strategist and Prophet.
Reinhold’s life has been marked somewhat like that of ‘John the Baptist’. He has always “made straight the way of the Lord!” Whilst he always sought to be ‘out of the way’, he enabled the focus to be on his Master. He cleared away many stumbling stones for solid Kingdom outcomes. In this way, Reinhold has consistently enabled endless numbers of people to reach places they would never otherwise have reached. This quality was marked by a servant heart that always looked to maximise others’ potential.
Reinhold has been an initiator, an innovator and a trail blazer. He has opened so many new fields of mission and ministry. His legacy includes ideas, programs, organisations and pathways… local, regional and national. There are now so many ‘prairies’ opened wide and fully populated with multiplying communities… that those flourishing in them may never know that Reinhold was the transmitter of the original “generative spark” from the Holy Spirit. In these ways he expanded creative possibilities as he broke free from conforming established norms and drew in others with him.
Reinhold had the unusual combination of clear-sighted focus on the mission task together with recognition of the people gifts to match those possibilities. Further, he listened to people deeply enough with the Spirit’s aid, to discern God’s as yet, unseen potential in them and in their connections. And further to enable a harmony and synergy in nurturing their emerging relationships.
To this gift he brought a “helicopter” or “eagle” quality. That could go down to focus on the details of discerning the needs of diverse situations and mission fields… whilst also being able to rise up above the detail to bring together the big picture of God’s wide vision. Yet again, moving down to the ground level and identifying the people and resources to liberate the big picture movement.
Reinhold was a voracious reader and absorber of scriptural truth, devouring biblical texts, commentaries and writings of all sorts of inspired wise reflectors. Like a miner, he searched out the theological and missional treasures both near and far … not only uncovering for himself and others, those familiar in German circles, but also exploring inspiring ‘windows’ of understanding from the English-speaking world.
Reinhold was able to see the end from the beginning. And, within a rather un-strategic inherited church system in Western Europe, to identify the places, organisations, funding sources and people that could bring leverage for disproportionately powerful transformations. Changes in change-resistant institutions … And to do it over and over and over again; knowing that the consistent, long-term pressure in the same direction, is the only way to move the immovable.
Reinhold’s ministry and wide, wide influence was enabled, enriched, and directed by the prophetic gift. God repeatedly spoke from scripture to Reinhold, revealing the connections between the eternal word and God’s immanent word for bringing transformation to church and world…. For incarnating the Kingdom of God. As a prophet he was ahead of his time, seeing beyond the horizons of his context. Always fired by an inner passion for anticipating the inbreaking life of Jesus into novel mission fields. And true to the authentic prophet’s gifting, he created bridgeheads into the future and somehow generated a vortex that drew others after him.
Stefan Taut, Werner Schleifenbaum, Bob und Mary Hopkins
Here you can find the biography. (Stefan Taut).
Here you can view Werner’s sermon about paradise on Reinhold’s funeral. (German language)