Sunday, September 05, 2021

4 languages, 1 new church!

Pray for the believers in Vollsmose, a suburb of Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense. Four distinct “small” groups have formed with the intention of growing into a single fellowship, associated with the existing Odense Vineyard fellowship. Their target date for meeting all together for the first time is this October.

But these are not typical small groups. Each one is meeting around a different language: Danish, English, Greenlandic, and Arabic.

“In the network groups, we’re going to get to know each other, learn who God is, pray together, and have fellowship with each other,” said Sebastian Olesen, the overall group leader and church planter. “When there are enough people in these groups, we’re going to start monthly worship services (or something like that) that the people of Vollsmose can relate to.”

That will be an interesting challenge, as Vollsmose is known as one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the country. But that distinction provides Christians there with opportunities and challenges for spreading the gospel. At one gathering of the area’s Muslims, Christians set up a booth to give away juice and dates. Their hand-painted poster read, “We are Christians, and we love Muslims!”

Watch a video (English subtitles) of their encounter here and see an English-language version of their website here.

Vineyard fellowships came to Denmark in 1997, and are known for their emphasis on Biblical teaching in a relaxed atmosphere. Today there are eight Vineyard churches around the country.

PRAY for each of the fellowship groups as they meet: Danish, English, Greenlandic, and Arabic. Each will be welcoming both believers and not-yet-believers, and will face unique challenges as they examine the Scriptures and pray for each other.

PRAY for unity during a time of disunity, that God would weave together these four different groups into a unique new fellowship in the fall. 

PRAY for the leadership of these groups, for wisdom and insight into the unique needs of their people. Pray for Sebastian Olesen, that he would have wisdom to deal with whatever comes up, and courage to follow where God leads. 

PRAY for revival in Vollsmose, that Jesus would be lifted up in that multi-ethnic city! 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

This is going to be different

The new pastor at Karlslunde Standkirke (Karlslunde Beach Church) is looking for revival in his post-pandemic fellowship, but he doesn’t believe it’s going to look the same as it did, before. 

As Anders Michael Hansen describes it, it’s all about freeing the gospel from its “Babylonian exile.”

In other words, he says, the good news needs to be freed from the old church culture. And revivals, he said, aren’t tied to church culture, but to people. 

“I prefer to preach the gospel in a down-to-earth way, and let the power of God’s Spirit confirm the truth of the gospel with His presence and accompanying signs. I think… congregations that are only institutional and dependent on meeting in large gatherings will give way to smaller, organic, flexible fellowships. The alternative would be increased secularization and more distant Christian faith communities, if we as Christians don’t have the imagination to adjust to a new reality.”

So Pastor Hanson is looking to rediscover what is “the fellowship of the saints” in his local church. And he believes their main focus will be what he calls “the living community of faith in small groups.”

Along with another visionary pastor at Karslunde Standkirke, Peter Tingleff, they’re looking for new ways to implement a service-oriented one-to-one outreach called “Church on the Way,” specifically aimed at non-churchgoers.

“We need to spread the gospel through our local presence,” said Pastor Hansen, “not isolate it in large, self-sufficient congregations.”

The 57-year-old’s outward-facing, neighbor-serving attitude is clearly not the norm for all Danish churches, but pray for him and his congregation as they face the post-corona reality in their community. 

PRAY for Anders Michael Hansen, Peter Tingleff, and others at Karlslunde Strandkirke, for wisdom as they seek God’s leadership to grow the church there.

PRAY for unity and that believers would catch the vision of outreach in Karlslunde.

PRAY for programs like the “Church on the Way” and others, that Christians in Karlslunde Standkirke would be known for the way they love their neighbors.

PRAY for revival in Karlslunde!

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Perfection and depression: Pray for Denmark!

"In Denmark," says the narrator of this nicely done video, "everybody wants to be perfect. It seems like nothing is ever good enough. For this reason, a lot of Danes suffer from stress or depression. Students also experience that even though Denmark is more spiritual today than ever, religion has become a very private subject, and it's difficult to talk about it with others. Here's a couple of ways you can pray for Denmark..."

Please watch this short, 1-minute video (link here), enjoy the pretty pictures, and keep praying for Denmark!

Pray also for the young people who look forward to attending Revive Europe, a 5-day event scheduled for this coming December that will feature Bible teaching and evangelism training, plus fellowship and prayer. Here's another video of a young Dane who is eagerly looking forward to the event. They need our prayer support!

Meanwhile, be sure to:

PRAY for young Christian students, especially those who feel alone in their faith.

PRAY that God would show Danish believers new ways of reaching their neighbors for Christ, no matter the circumstances. 

PRAY for Danish students who feel overwhelmed and pressured by society to succeed. 

PRAY for Christian college students like Sarah, that God would encourage them as they learn how to represent the Lord where they are. 

PRAY for revival in Denmark! 

Sunday, March 07, 2021

I met Jesus... online!

How are Danish churches reaching out during these COVID-times? Many are looking online. And one fellowship, Byens Valgmenighed in Copenhagen, has just started a new session of a successful seeker-friendly online forum – Alpha Online.  

On one social media platform, a church member asks,

“Are you sitting alone in front a screen, too much? And want to meet other people? Interested in talking about some of life’s questions? What do I believe? Who is God? Where is he, during these times? So maybe Online Alpha is something for you.”

It’s in Danish, of course, and aimed at Danish speakers. But the church is also sponsoring an “International Alpha” for newcomers and others… in English. 

Either way, the online approach is a great way to introduce those who are curious… to Jesus!

PRAY for the Alpha course leaders at Byens Valgmenighed, that they would be filled with God’s Spirit as they talk to unbelievers and seekers. Course leaders need courage and wisdom. 

PRAY that many would hear and come to know the truth of the gospel.

PRAY that many Danish (and non-Danish!) hearts will turn to the Lord during this time.

PRAY that those who come to follow Christ – no matter where they are in Denmark – will find fellowship, encouragement, and a way to grow as believers. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Guess who is praying for Denmark?

With few exceptions, Denmark is closed until at least January 17. Businesses are shuttered, as are restaurants and nearly everything else in this small country, and group gatherings are severely curtailed. So it’s surprising that churches are even allowed to meet, but only for 30 minutes on Sunday, and no corporate singing allowed.

No praise songs. No prayer meetings. No youth gatherings. And with dark, cold weather across the land, it’s difficult to stay optimistic and upbeat—except perhaps when we’re reminded of other Christians whose situations are much worse than our own. 

Believers in North Korea, for example, are routinely subject to imprisonment, brutal torture, and execution. Following Jesus in that land could mean a death sentence. But the Dansk Europamission, which ministers to oppressed Christians worldwide, recently received a note of thanks and encouragement from a North Korean church leader, promising to remember Danish Christians. 

“We would like to pray for you and for our brothers and sisters in Denmark,” wrote the Korean. “We pray that God, in his fatherly love, will protect you from the corona virus, and ensure your health and safety.”

It’s profoundly humbling to think that persecuted believers are praying for Denmark, isn’t it? 

We can do no less. 

PRAY for the protection of faithful Christians in Denmark, meeting under less-than-ideal situations during short services. 

PRAY that Danish Christians would continue to connect with each other online and by using other means.

PRAY that Christians would be encouraged in the knowledge that they are not alone, and that—even during this time—Jesus is near. 

And please join our North Korean brothers and sisters as they… 

PRAY for the health and safety of Danish believers.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Faith in a time of Covid

What’s it like to be a dedicated Christian believer in Denmark? There’s of course no one answer. It varies from city to town, in different parts of the country. Many strong, Bible-believing fellowships have sprung up in recent years, existing churches have grown, and God’s Spirit is moving. But make no mistake: Many churches in Denmark are still small, and believers often feel isolated in a secular society.  Here’s how one Christian, “Thomas,” recently described his own experience, on a social media site. 

“We as Christians should be happy to live in Denmark. There are still some places where we hear the truth of Scripture, thanks to the churches and fellowships that still dare. (But) we who hold fast to God’s Word face opposition. Also here in Denmark, there are pastors who openly don’t believe in, for example, the virgin birth, or that Jesus died on the cross, and rose again on the third day.”

Thomas contrasted his freedom in Denmark to the harsh conditions believers sometimes face in other countries—places where Christians are persecuted or tortured. 

“But we know Jesus, wherever we find ourselves in the world,” he wrote. “We know we are on the winning team, though many must suffer for the truth—Jesus.”

PRAY for Danish believers in the time of Covid-19, that they would grow in their faith, despite discouragement or even opposition at work, or in their families, or in the community. 

PRAY for Danish churches of all sizes to grow, and for believers to stand on the truth of Scripture. 

PRAY that isolated believers in small fellowships would be encouraged, and that they would know they are being prayed for. 

PRAY for revival to sweep through Denmark as never before.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

A bit of Israel... on a Danish island

Pray for 25 young people participating in the amazing discipleship training program at "Det Danske Hus" (The Danish House) this fall. 

Normally young Danish Christians travel to the Danish House by the Sea of Galilee (in Israel) to experience a multi-week program in Bible training and discipleship, on location. Coronavirus-related travel restrictions prevented that from happening this fall, however, so the entire program was transplanted to a Christian camp on the Danish island of Bornholm. 

That's different than expected, but it's 2020, after all. And though the program was planned to end after 5 to 6 weeks, it's just been extended until November 14. These students are all in!

So they'll continue to enjoy Bible studies and lectures, as well as fun activities, hikes and bonfires on the island's beautiful beaches, bike trips, worship times, local service projects, and more. 

It's not in Israel, this fall, but the spiritual growth is real. Pray for these kids!

PRAY for the disciples this fall at Det Danske Hus, for their spiritual growth. Pray that they will emerge from the experience in November as strong Christian leaders who will make a difference for the Kingdon. 

PRAY for the teachers and leaders, that they will be inspired to pass along the truth of God's Word in a loving and clear way. 

PRAY for the impact of this program, that it will continue to grow both in Denmark and in Israel. 

PRAY that students will soon be able to return to the original Det Danske Hus by the Sea of Galilee. 

PRAY that revival in Denmark will grow out of this discipleship program, and through these disciples.