Leadership Profile: Elke Werner, Evangelist, Mentor, Church Leader, Germany

Q. Tell us about your family.
I am married to the man whom I have loved since I was 17. His name is Roland. He is general secretary of the German YMCA, linguist, author, evangelist, and Bible translator.

Q. Give us a brief overview of your work and ministry.
A. I am the leader of Christus-Treff, a local church in Marburg, Germany. We have over seven hundred people attending every week, plus a church plant in Berlin and a guesthouse in Jerusalem. I am involved in several national ministries for and with women (Prisca, Filia, book projects, etc.). I am also the senior associate for women in the Lausanne Movement and lead a mentoring group of eight women from Austria, Germany, and Latvia through Leighton Ford Ministries. I am an author and evangelist among women.

Q. What is your favorite quote?
“There are two things that I have learned. The first one: there is a God. The second one: it is not me!”

Q. Who has been the most influential person in your life/ministry, and why?
A. The most influential person is my husband, Roland. He has helped me to develop my natural and spiritual gifts, challenged me to grow in many areas of life, and accompanied me on my journey of faith.

Evangelism. On Point.

Q. Describe a time in which you shared your faith
in Christ with someone who didn’t know him, and
then saw God clearly work in that situation.

A. I was speaking at an evangelistic women's
breakfast meeting in a small town. The only male
person in the room with three hundred women
was a man who looked very critical and took a lot
of notes while I was speaking. I was a bit afraid
of a theological discussion with him when he
approached me at the end of my talk. He looked
me in the eye and said, “I have heard and
understood all you said. For the first time I believe
this is the truth. What shall I do now?”

I was amazed. He was working for the local
newspaper and also studying theology because
he was trying to find God. He had come to the
women's meeting in order to write a report on it.
He had come as a seeker and a skeptic, but God
had opened his ears and for the first time he was
able to grasp the good news of what Christ had
done for him.

“Why did no one tell me this in my theology
studies?” he asked. I wasn’t able to answer this,
but I was happy to show him the way to Jesus!
When I received a copy of the article he had
written, I found many of my words printed for all
to read. He had not only received Jesus, but was
willing to share him with everyone.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
No matter what you do, work at it with all your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Q. What one issue do you believe is the greatest barrier to evangelism, and why?
In my cultural and spiritual context, it is materialism and post-modernity. People are indifferent and not interested in evangelism. This includes both non-Christians and Christians.

Q. What book do you most often recommend to others to read, and why?
A. I recommend a book by Lynn Smith called Gender or Giftedness and one by David Hamilton and Loren Cunninham called Why Not Women? The time has come to encourage and empower women to use all the spiritual gifts that God has given them for the sake of the gospel. These two books provide us with good theological research and answers to many questions regarding the ministry of women.

Q. What would you like to be doing in five years?
A. Encourage more women to do what God has called them to do. Write more books and preach at evangelistic outreaches so that many will hear the gospel.

Q. How can people be praying for you?
A. Please pray for our Lausanne Penpals Program. Since Cape Town 2010, about one hundred women from around the world have stayed connected and kept in touch, encouraging each other and praying for each other.