CHRISTIANS IN OTHER COMPANIES

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CHRISTIANS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY (CAI)

Source: Daimler Global Media Site

Gott lieb(t)DAIMLER

(God loves DAIMLER)

but also the competitors and suppliers!

How the company-wide network came about

In mid-2011 Dr. Helmut Keller received a call from Peer-Detlev Schladebusch, pastor for business executives from the Wolfsburg region, with the request for an appointment in Stuttgart. Christians from Volkswagen in Wolfsburg wanted to talk to Daimler Christians about the topic of ‘company prayer’.

 

Peer-Detlev Schladebusch
Industry Pastor
Lüneburg-Wolfsburg region

 

Henning Nathow
Volkswagen AG

 

Jörg Munzel
Volkswagen AG

On July 15, 2011, the appointment took place in a Stuttgart restaurant. Peer-Detlev Schladebusch and two employees of VW traveled from Wolfsburg to Stuttgart by train to meet with Helmut Keller and Volker Fliehmann. It was a very special gathering to talk about the founding and running of company prayer circles and to think about setting up a cross-company network. At the end they prayed together.

 

Dr. Helmut Keller
Daimler AG

 

Volker Fliehmann
Daimler AG

September 12, 2013: Foundation of the CAI network at the IAA in Frankfurt/Main

Very soon the idea arose to found a company-wide network over all German automobile manufacturers and their suppliers. The name of the network was ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry’ with the abbreviation ‘CAI’. The kickoff for this network should be in 2013 on the occasion of the ‘Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA)’ in Frankfurt/Main.

And so it happened. At the IAA, on 12 September 2013, a get-together was held for all motorists in connection with a devotional service. For this purpose, a mobile small church, the ‘Lichtkirche’, was built in the center of the IAA, in which Christians from various car manufacturers and suppliers met for devotion and subsequent exchange. The CAI network was launched that day.

CAI

– a cross-company platform for engaging dedicated

Christians in the Automotive Industry

Get together with a short devotion in the ‘Light Church’

Light Church between the exhibition halls

Interior view of the mobile Light Church

Mutual exchange of representatives of Audi, BMW, Bosch, Daimler, Ford, MBtech, Opel, Trump, VW

Pastor Peer-Detlev Schladebusch:

On September 13, 2013 the Christian media magazine

wrote (translated into English):

Between cars and engines: Christians at the IAA

The Christians in the Automobile Industry (CAI) invited to a church service at the 65th International Motor Show (IAA) on Thursday. It was the first event of the newly formed association.

Around 30 IAA visitors and employees of car manufacturers and suppliers took part in the CAI service. In a subsequent roundtable, employees of the car companies reported how they work as Christians in their company and discussed how they can network in the future.

November 16, 2013: Second CAI meeting in Weinstadt

The second meeting of the ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry’ took place in November of the same year in Weinstadt near Stuttgart. Representatives of numerous automobile companies, including Audi, BMW, Bosch, Daimler, Festo, Opel, Porsche, Trumpf, T-Systems, Volkswagen and ZF-Lenksysteme (today Robert Bosch Automotive Steering), took part in the event under the motto ‚God @ YourJob‘. Robert Fraser, former founder of a multi-award winning IT company and current director of ‘Joseph International’, from Kansas City, Missouri, USA, was invited as a guest speaker. His message encouraged participants to seize and practice their vocation not only in the churches, but also in the economy and society.

Quotr Robert Fraser:
“We can experience and establish the Kingdom of God there because the vast majority of Christian life is usually in the workplace.”

Other CAI events

Since the founding year 2013, there are annual CAI events. Worth mentioning here are the CAI kickoff events within the framework of the annual ‘Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA)’, which take place alternately in Frankfurt/Main and Hannover. The ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry’ participating in the IAA have the opportunity to exchange their experiences with the company prayer. In addition, during lunch time, it is invited to daily devotions held at a central location on the IAA grounds.

12.09.2013:  Kickoff at the IAA in Frankfurt

16.11.2013:   Weinstadt-Beutelsbach near Stuttgart

01.02.2014:  Stadtmission (City Mission) Wolfsburg

26.09.2014:  Commercial Vehicle IAA in Hannover

17.09.2015:   IAA in Frankfurt

27.09.2016:  Commercial Vehicle IAA in Hannover

15.09.2017:   IAA in Frankfurt

20.09.2018:  Commercial Vehicle IAA in Hannover

16.11.2019:   Germany-wide CAI meeting in Weinstadt

23.11.2019:   Dr. Annette Winkler in Braunschweig

3.-6.01.2020:   CAI booth at MEHR conference in Augsburg

09.01.2020:  Ecumenical CAI service in Ingolstadt

Call for daily 12 o’clock prayer

In view of the exhaust gas scandal at Volkswagen, in October 2015 the ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry’ called for daily prayers for the approximately 600,000 employees of the Volkswagen Group. See the article from the ‘Wolfsburger Allgemeine’ newspaper from 15.10.2015.

The industrial pastor and spokesman for the organization ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry’, Peer-Detlev Schladebusch from Wolfsburg, called on the Christians to set up an alarm clock on their mobile phone that would remind them by ringing or vibrating to pray for three minutes every day at noon. For this, small prayer cards with the inscription ‘12 o’clock – pray now!’ have been distributed.

Concrete prayer requests were the regular prayer for the leaders in charge to make the right choices, as well as the request for a ‘fair measure’ in the public, the media, and politics ‘so that not entire industries are unnecessarily discredited.’ Peer-Detlev Schladebusch said that the prayer call will also be sent to employees of other automobile companies. In the past, for example, Daimler employees had been praying for Opel employees. That is very encouraging.

Commercial Vehicle IAA in Hannover on 27.09.2016

Very appealing was the motto of the CAI launch sermon at the IAA in Hannover on 27.09.2016:

‘Wir haben die Laster,
Jesus die Anhänger.’

Literally translated into English this means:

‘We have the vices / trucks,
Jesus the followers / trailers.’

Note: This is a german pun. The German word ‘Laster’ stands for ‘vice’ and also for ‘truck’ and the German word ‘Anhänger’ stands for ‘follower’ and also for ‘trailer’.

Pastor Peer-Detlev Schladebusch: ‘It’s important that we change the towing vehicle in our lives. Christ can be our new towing vehicle for life and work.’

CAI slogan: Called for Mobility

Since the commercial vehicle IAA in September 2018 in Hannover, there is the new CAI slogan ‘Called for Mobility’ with a corresponding rollup.

Worship at Opel in Rüsselsheim on 22.01.2019

After the car company Opel was sold to the French carmaker PSA in August 2017, production in Rüsselsheim’s main plant was to be drastically reduced in 2019. In addition, hundreds of jobs at the Opel development center in Rüsselsheim were to be given to the French service company Segula.

On January 22, 2019, Christians met at the car manufacturer Opel in Rüsselsheim for a service to bring the challenges at Opel before God. It was prayed for the management and the works council, the safeguarding of jobs, the restructuring and cooperation within the PSA Group, good sales figures and a good utilization of the plants. The service under the motto ‘Opel Shalom’ was attended by 50 Opel employees, 8 pastors from the Rhine-Main area and also by some Christians from other car companies.

For more information, see a contribution from idea e.V. Evangelische Nachrichtenagentur Press Service, 31 January 2019, No. 026.

Germany-wide CAI meeting on November 16, 2019 in Weinstadt

On November 16, 2019, a Germany-wide CAI meeting took place in the Christus-Zentrum Weinstadt, in which around 100 employees from around 50 German automobile manufacturers and suppliers took part. The motto of the event was “Called for Mobility”. Given the enormous challenges in the areas of electromobility, alternative drive technologies, digitalization, autonomous driving, new mobility concepts and the growing uncertainty about the preservation of jobs, the participants were encouraged to act responsibly and to pray for their companies. 

In addition to the opportunity to get to know and encourage each other and to pray together, different members of the CAI network from the companies Audi, Daimler, Trumpf and Volkswagen offered the following six workshops:

1. How do we communicate openly with management?

2. Don’t be afraid of change!

3. How do I set up and design a company prayer group?

4. Being a Christian at work

5. How do I pray in particularly difficult situations?

6. Off time instead of lunch time – the Alpha course in the company!

For more information, see the CAI website, or in idea Spektrum No. 47 from November 20, 2019.

CAI booth at the MEHR conference in Augsburg from 3rd to 6th January 2020

As part of the MEHR conference from 3 to 6 January 2020 in Augsburg, members of the ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry’ network pointed out their initiative at a booth. Interested Christians were encouraged to get involved in corporate prayer circles and to pray for their company, their bosses and colleagues.

 

 

Among other things, a map of Germany was issued, on which all CAI prayer circles known in Germany were visible. Marcel Mast (Daimler) made a short statement about the importance of company prayer.

CAI service in the Audi city of Ingolstadt on January 9, 2020

On January 9, 2020 (6 p.m.), the nationwide CAI network invited to an interdenominational service in Ingolstadt in the Catholic St. Pius Church. Under the theme ‘More than you believe’, approximately 300 visitors participated in the celebration, including numerous participants from the German automotive industry from Wolfsburg via Stuttgart to Munich. The manner in which this ecumenical service was held was something of a novelty in southern Germany and also encouraged others to try something like this at their locations.

The ecumenical service was led by the catholic bishop Gregor Maria Hanke (Diocese of Eichstätt). The sermon was designed by the regional bishop Klaus Stiegler (Evangelical Lutheran Church, Regensburg) and CAI spokesman Pastor Peer-Detlev Schladebusch. Christians from the German automotive industry from Audi, BMW, Daimler, MAN, Bosch and Continental were involved, too. The gospel choir Sunshine and a music team from the Free Evangelical Community of Ingolstadt took care of the musical design.

In addition to the roman catholic and evangelical bishops, there were also high-ranking representatives from the board, the works council and the city with greetings. TV, press and radio reported in various ways about the event. Here is an excerpt:

TV Bavarian radio (with video recording)
Süddeutsche Zeitung
Donaukurier
idea Spektrum
Domradio.de
Diocese of Eichstätt (audio recording)
CAI website
Facebook

The different company affiliations and denominations played no role at the event. Rather, people focused on the one thing, namely the common Christian faith.

OVERALL PERSPECTIVE OF CORPORATE PRAYER

Press reports about company prayer

There are numerous press reports on corporate prayer in the public press. Some excerpts are listed below.

Company prayer in other companies

Corporate prayer groups are by no means only found in the major German automobile manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, MAN, Opel, Porsche or Volkswagen, and their supplier companies such as Bosch, Continental, Mahle or Trumpf. They also exist in numerous other companies in Germany and around the world. The website of ‘Christen in der Wirtschaft (CiW)’ at https://www.ciw.de/service/firmengebet/ gives an overview of existing corporate prayer groups in Germany. There are about 80 prayer groups listed. In the Germany map the respective prayer places are marked with red dots.

Further press releases and publications on the Internet

September 2012:

Pray under the star

 

 

January 2013:

Why Christians should pray for their company

 

 

September 2013:

Between cars and engines – Christians at the IAA

 

 

November 2013:

Car makers as ambassadors at work

 

 

February 2014:

Interview with Helmut Keller, Markus Kleppe and Josef Kurz about company prayer

 

October 2015:

Initiative calls for prayers for VW employees

 

 

February 2017:

The prayer for the company is worth it

 

 

December 2018:

Link to the Daimler internal intranet
Note: This link requires access to the Daimler internal intranet!

 

 

January 2019:

Prayers for Opel

 

 

February 2019:

Interview with Helmut Keller about ‘Christen at Daimler and company prayer’

 

November 2019:

Germany-wide meeting of ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry’
See also: CAI-Website

 

 

January 2020:

Interview with Marcel Mast about the importance of company prayer

 

 

Ingolstadt: Christians pray for the car industry

 

 

 

On God’s lanes

 

 

Accelerate in faith

 

 

When ‘Opelans’ pray for ‘Audians’

 

 

Bishop Hanke from Eichstädt encourages the automotive industry

 

 

Press release on the CAI service in Ingolstadt

 

 

 

With God in the job – Christians in the Automotive Industry (audio recording)

 

 

 

 

Premiere in southern Germany: ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry’ celebrate the first ecumenical service in Ingolstadt

 

 

 

Christians in the Automotive Industry: Pray together in the workplace

 

 

 

Christians at Trumpf – Theo Livestream Reportage