Personnel community

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A personal congregation is understood to be a church congregation that is not composed of a specific area, but of members who come together beyond the local area.


As a staff community in Germany, particularly one is evangelical church called that does not geographically defined Parish ( Parish ) managed. Membership in a staff congregation is not derived from the place of residence of a believer, as is the case with a territorial congregation, but is determined voluntarily. Staff congregations are made up of believers who belong to a certain group of people or who have certain common interests.

Most free church congregations are organized as personal congregations.

The Roman Catholic counterpart to the personal parish is the personal parish .

Historically, the development of personal communities goes back to the awakening movement of the 19th century and the development of diakonia . Within the Protestant regional churches , deaconess mother houses and large diaconal institutions were declared to be staff congregations soon after their establishment, so that the members or residents could be cared for pastoral and churchly on their own. Other personal church congregations emerged under the influence of pietism and community movement with an emphasis on evangelistic preaching, B. the Evangelical Personal Church Community North-East in Frankfurt am Main . Depending on the current church constitution , military or student communities (university communities) are also run as staff communities.

Since the territorial principle predominates in the community structure, staff communities are only found sporadically.

However, due to the possibility of reunification, some central metropolitan parishes are characterized by members who do not live in the actual parish territory. Often there is almost no resident population there.

Personal communities

In the Protestant regional churches there are different provisions on staff congregations. On November 26th, 2012 the Evangelical Church of Württemberg decided to set up “personal congregations”. In contrast to the personal community, the personal community is not a corporation under public law, but a legally dependent part of a (overall) church community. Two such communities are currently in the process of recognition: the Jesus-Treff in Stuttgart and the community on Glemseck in Leonberg.


The Protestant Church AB and HB in Austria has created the possibility under canon law to belong to a "desired parish " (correct: electoral parish) if a corresponding application is supported by the presbyteries of both parishes. This creates the probably unique situation that both churches are organized in principle according to parochial law , but allow their members to choose a personal congregation.

However, this only means that the church fee is collected from the electoral parish, and the possibility of exercising ecclesiastical offices only exists in this, but on the other hand all casuals are to be carried out by the community of residence, which only lists these people as guests in their files.

Different meaning

The term personal congregation is also used within the church for those people who have a particularly intensive relationship or Developed veneration for a pastor. This colloquial use has a critical or derogatory meaning.


  • Karl Heussi : Compendium of Church History , 15th edition, Tübingen 1979.
  • Collection of church laws of the Evangelical Church AB in Austria, status 03/2013, ongoing, HRSG: Evangelischer Oberkirchenrat AB Vienna.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Rainer Geiss: Personalkirchengemeinde . In: Helmut Burkhardt, Uwe Swarat (ed.): Evangelical Lexicon for Theology and Congregation . Corrected reprint of the 1st edition 1993, 2nd volume 2 : H-Q. R. Brockhaus Verlag , Wuppertal 1998, ISBN 3-417-24674-1 , p. 839–1,640 (Vol. 2) (ISBN refers to the three-volume study edition from 1998).
  2. Difference between a personal congregation and a personal congregation ( memento of the original from December 8, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, accessed on October 24, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ↑ Item 7 Ecclesiastical Law to Change the Parish Regulations ( Memento of the original from July 6, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /