Innere Mission

Proclaimed by J.H. Wichern* at a Kirchentag in 1848, this mission within Christendom aimed to show the love of Christ meeting practical human needs as the realization of the Kingdom of God. The central committee and local associations of the Innere Mission flourished despite considerable opposition in the church. They coordinated many already existing evangelistic and welfare activities in the church, and encouraged many fresh enterprises. Wichern saw all these as parts of the one mission of the church, and he looked for an Evangelical Volkskirche, a people's church, though he was conservative in church and politics, working with the Prussian government and hostile to socialism. Later some leaders of the Mission adopted a more radical socialist approach to winning the alienated working classes, but with little success. Meanwhile the many activities of the Mission continued up to the present as part of the German Evangelical Church's attempt to minister to human wholeness in the Spirit of Jesus.