Monday, October 23, 2006

Scandinavian Consultation for Church Planting

Our overriding concern for Denmark is in the areas of revival-renewal, evangelism, and planting of new churches. While we hope and pray for reformation and revival-renewal in older churches, it is an unfortunate fact that the older a church is the less able it seems to be to keep up with the times. Some Protestant churches in Denmark date back many centuries and sadly gather only a handful of worshipers. A great danger is that older churches may become relics of another day and time and fail to meet the challenges of the present. Antiquity offers no assurance of relevance. In fact, relying on a church's history can spell the death of evangelism. Theological considerations coupled with population shifts, increasing urbanization and new housing developments make the planting of new churches an urgent necessity. It is not often that an older church can easily adopt or adapt to new approaches to music and worship, new methods of outreach, or changing social conditions. Unfortunately, there are churches that take pride in not doing so.

In line with our concerns for the church in Denmark, I have been delighted to hear of a Scandinavian Consultation for Church Planting that will take place in at Copenhagen's Culture Center on November 23. The event is sponsored by DAWN Scandinavia in cooperation with SALT (Scandinavian Academy of Leadership and Theology). This is the second such Consultation, the first having taken place in Malmø, Sweden, in January 2005, unfortunately with only a few Danish leaders in attendance. But with this year's Consultation scheduled in Copenhagen, the hope is that many Danish church leaders and church planters will participate. The purpose of the Consultation is to provide a gathering for church planters in the Scandinavian countries for the building of relationships and learning from each other.

The Conference is ecumenical in nature, so that representatives of state-sponsored as well as free churches will be in attendance. Church planters from Norway and Sweden will also be present. Danish leaders expected to participate include Claus Grønbæk, church planter and founder of a free Lutheran congregation in Copenhagen; Anders Michael Hansen, Dean of Copenhagen's Scandinavian Academy of Leadership and Theology (a theological seminary of cooperating free evangelical organizations, denominations, and churches), pastor of Århus Valgmenighed, and director of the European Church Planting Network; Hans Henrik Lund, leader of the Churches' Integration Service in Denmark working with ethnic churches throughout Denmark; Svend Løbner Madsen, who works with the organic church movement and is a part of the Network of Free Churches in Denmark; Flemming Mølhede, pastor of Copenhagen's Vineyard Church and leader of the Vineyard movement in Denmark; Birger Nygaard, theologian and missiologist, national director of Areopagos; and Andreas Wolf, leader of the European Research Network focusing on church planting in Europe. For further information about this important Consultation, contact Niels Christian Storgaard at

PRAY that those in attendance will acknowledge the necessity for the presence and leadership of the Holy Spirit in this important Consultation.

PRAY that concerns for church planting will be coupled with the vision for active evangelism through the country. As someone has well stated, "God has no grandchildren." Evangelism is needed in every generation.

PRAY that the presentations by seminar leaders will be informative and challenging and lead to fruitful discussions and interchange of participants experiences and strategies.

PRAY that this Consultation will result in a resurgence of Spirit-led church planting efforts throughout Denmark and an increase in the number of committed evangelical church planters.

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