WillowFreak: Thats the name of the yearly leadership meeting for the Jesus Freaks International, a ministry network that was birthed in the German alternative culture. Mirko is one of the founders and leaders. He came over for lunch in Frankfurt when i was there a few days ago, and we chatted about Jesus Freaks and their festival called Freakstock. Nice guy. Nice blog (on which he posted a photo of us). Nice old car with character. Nice lip ring. Nice ToothandNail Jacket. Mirko also works a few nights a week at a bar in his town – he says it keeps him closer to real people.
Freakstock is a MustStopAndPutUpMyTent pilgrimage site for young, postmodern, rockers,goths and punks. I took my family to Freakstock in 2001 and again in 2003. Its a great festival with about 7000 wild looking pierced Jesus followers listening to hard core music and attending seminars. They even have some normal people come along, and they are allowed to be normal without persecution or taunting of any kind. Its very well run, and the kids program is about the best we have come across at any festival.
Jesus Freaks started in 1991 with 4 guys in a Hamburg living room. 1995 was the year it really took off and the first training meeting was called Freakstock. That small seminar became a Christian Festival and those 4 guys on couches became 80 churches.
For the record, Mirko doesnt like the term "emerging church" or "youth church". He prefers, simply, "church".
The missions arm of Jesus Freaks developed and was called World Wide Pizza Service – with the goal of providing a church within a pizza delivery’s distance of everyone. Pete Grieg will be speaker at the next . . . (i love this name) . … WILLOWFREAK! I should also mentio, since we are talking Freaks, that Mark Miller hosts an occasional ministry training weekend in USA called The Jesus FreakEnd. I hope hearing that doesn’t FREAK anyone out!
I posted in 2002 about our time at Freakstock.
We performed at Freaksock ’04- it was an eye-opener for us. The only Christian festival i know of that is sponsored by a beer company! Great beer it was, too, although surpassed as an experience by our meeting several hundred very freaky people with hearts sold out to Jesus, playing to hundreds more who danced wildly to our tribal vibes- definitely a must-do on the Rivertribe calendar for ’05. I have a Freakstock ’04 gallery up on the RT blog if you wanna take a peek.
BTW, thanks to Mirko for posting a very rare shot of Andrew sans hat! That is going on my blog!