Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Church Planters for Denmark

I recently came across a “church planting in Denmark” page on the Internet that immediately got my attention. The content focused on Matthew and Sarah Bates, a young American couple in process of raising support with the intention of becoming church planters in Denmark.

Given the increasing difficulty and numerous requirements involved in establishing permanent residence in Denmark, I had all but dismissed the idea of overseas “missionaries” coming to work in the country and had been doubtful that many could or would be able to do so. To my amazement and joy, the Lord doesn’t always work as I expect Him to work. I could not detect anything in Matthew and Sarah’s Internet page that would seem inimical to evangelical interests in Denmark and took the step of making contact with this young couple. The Bates are associated with Biblical Ministries Worldwide, an evangelical, Bible-believing agency whose purpose is to serve the Lord and the local church by establishing reproducing churches through evangelism, discipleship and leadership development (

My wife and I finally got to meet this young couple in person a couple of weeks ago. We were very grateful and pleased to have a short but fruitful visit with Matthew and Sarah Bates and their two children. They were traveling in California and were able to stop by for a visit on their way to a weekend engagement in a local church in Sacramento. We found them to be not only a delightful couple but also very knowledgeable about Denmark and its spiritual condition, and above all far from naïve about its many challenges. We took to them immediately and view them very favorably. Matthew has done his homework and has profited from having the opportunity to travel widely in Denmark where he had been able to interview individuals and leaders of various churches and denominations and learn from them. My sense is that they will help spur the planting of new Bible-believing churches in Denmark and hopefully encourage young Danish believers to seek God’s will to join them in such endeavors.

Doubtless, many obstacles and unexpected trials lie ahead of Matthew and Sarah. I would urge readers of this Pray for Denmark weblog to follow the couple’s exciting faith journey to Denmark through their excellent and informative Internet page. Look for it at

PRAY that Matthew and Sarah will be able to raise needed support within the next few months. Their Internet page will show how God is helping them discover supporting churches and individuals.

PRAY that even now the Lord will lay the groundwork for their coming to Denmark in the choice of where to center their ministry, in fruitful contacts with evangelical believers, in the acceptance by Danes of their presence and ministry in the country.

PRAY that the Lord will give Matthew and Sarah unusual ability to grasp the Danish language and to understand and integrate easily into Danish culture and customs, two essentials in getting a hearing for the Gospel message.

PRAY that the Lord would give a Danish local church or organization a willing heart to sponsor Matthew and Sarah’s residence in Denmark.

PRAY that God would also give Danish believers and leaders a vision for the planting of new churches that hold steadfastly to the Bible as the inspired Word of God.

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