Monday, January 30, 2006

Baptist Churches in Denmark

The Baptist Union of Denmark ( had its beginnings in the work of Julius Købner and Johann Gerhard Oncken. These German Baptist pastors, who are considered to be the founders of Baptist work throughout continental Europe, visited Denmark in 1839 and made contact with some believers who were drawn to Baptistic beliefs and polity. Oncken baptized them and a church (Kristuskirken) was then organized in Copenhagen, the first "free" or non-state [Lutheran] church in Denmark. In the next few years, churches were formed in other areas of the country and these came together in 1849 under the banner of the Danish Baptist Union (Baptistkirken i Danmark or Baptistsamfund). The Baptist churches have not been without struggles and problems throughout their history and changes have come about organizationally and doctrinally. In the latest figures available, there are now approximately 5500 Danish Baptists gathered in 52 local churches. Though perhaps small in number by comparison with other countries, Baptists currently comprise the largest of the Danish free church denominations. The Baptist Union supports a very significant involvement of missionary outreach in the African nation of Burundi. Its influence in Denmark through the years has been far greater than its numbers would suggest. As with all free church denominations in Denmark, many of the churches of the Baptist Union are small and some are struggling. Denominations and churches, whether in Denmark or in other countries with a long history over many generations are in constant need of revival and renewal. There are vital Danish Baptist pastors and churches that are engaged in searching for new ways of reaching their fellow citizens in a country that like the rest of Europe is fast moving away from its roots in Christian culture. Danish Baptists greatly need and deserve our prayers and intercession for a renewed vision for aggressive evangelism and commitment to the planting of new churches.

PRAY for Jan Kornholt, General Secretary of the Danish Baptist Union, as he leads with spiritual oversight, vision and counsel for pastors and churches.

PRAY that older and larger Baptist churches in Denmark's key cities will give even greater priority in their outreach and financial support on behalf of evangelism and the planting of new churches.

PRAY that pastors in smaller churches who may be discouraged and under-supported will persevere in their calling and begin to see greater fruit from their faithful service for Christ.

PRAY that Danish Baptists will militate against compromise with the nation's overwhelming secularism and that the Holy Spirit will help them discover the most effective ways to reach Danes individually and impact Danish culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAY that God would move among pastors and churches in a powerful, penetrating, and unifying spiritual revival greater than Danish Baptists have ever known at any time during their 157-year history

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

FrikirkeNet's Church Planters Day at Kolding

This Saturday, January 28, a number of older and newer church planters will be gathering at the Church Center (Kirke Center) in Kolding, southern Jutland, for a day of inspiration and networking. Church Planters Day initiators Svend Løbner and Bent Bjerring-Nielsen, themselves both experienced and successful church planters, will be among those who will help shed light on starting new churches. The day's gatherings will offer inspiration for established churches to concentrate on starting new churches throughout the country. Pastors Løbner and Bjerring-Nielsen have much to offer those new to church planting ministry. Opportunity will be given for questions and the sharing of experiences and new ideas. This is just the sort of initiative that this Pray for Denmark wbepage is committed to support in prayer and we heartily commend the January 28 gathering to our readers and their prayers for its success. We are persuaded that evangelism and church planting go hand in hand. We also believe that the growth of evangelical free churches in Denmark depends upon the Spirit's working through aggressive evangelism and new church plants.

PRAY that the Church Planters Day at Kolding will ignite a new spirit of enthusiasm and commitment among Danish believers to evangelistic outreach and the planting of new churches.

PRAY that the experience of church planting pioneers Svend Løbner and Bent Bjerring-Nielsen will set the tone for the day and assure attendees that the planting of new churches is not as impossible a task as some might imagine.

PRAY that the opportunities of the day for networking and for free sharing of experiences and ideas on processes and procedures will provide affirmation and encouragement to new church planters to do their ministry in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

PRAY that the impetus and inspiration of this important gathering will flow into all of the free church denominations in Denmark in a way that will contribute to revival and renewal in the older established churches.

PRAY above all that the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Head of the Church, will be honored and glorified through this wonderful networking opportunity, and that the Holy Spirit will preside in power over all that takes place.

Note: The writer, Bill Hunter, apologizes for the delay in posting timely prayer requests. He is recuperating from major surgery that he had on December 29. The Lord our Healer is good and faithful as always. We appreciate our faithful prayer partners. We are always encouraged when we hear from you who have joined with us in this prayer ministry on behalf of God's work in Denmark.