Saturday, August 17, 2013
50 Years Later: Will Young Danes Find Faith?
Denmark’s KFS student outreach group turns 50 this year. And despite challenges, its members are looking ahead to reaching more college and high school students with the gospel of Jesus.
As co-founder Kai Kjær-Hansen recalls, the early gatherings started with prayer meetings and then an outreach at Rønne Statsskole on the island of Bornholm. He and two other volunteers invited students to discuss their objections to faith in Christ. They called the talks “Your Excuses: Do They Hold Up?” No one quite knew how many would respond, but 27 students showed up for those initial meetings.
“Our goal wasn’t discussion for the sake of discussion,” recalls Kjær-Hansen. “We used it as a way to see how we could approach the centrality of Jesus’ death and resurrection, as the most important thing.”
Today KFS, which stands for “Kristeligt Forbund for Studerende” (“Christian Fellowship for Students”), has groups and contacts in 170 of the 400 colleges and universities around the country, with 13 staff and several volunteers. Overall it reaches some 5,000 students yearly through Bible study groups and outreach events at campuses nationwide.
Denmark’s KFS is part of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, a global community spanning 150 countries worldwide. The US partner is InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
It's not just for college students, however. In Denmark, high school outreaches have also grown to be a real strength of the ministry. The challenge now is that not enough students stay involved at the college level. And Kjær-Hansen has his own challenge for the ministry today.
During the pioneering days of the early 1960s, he says, “we were full of zeal. In the rear-view mirror, we can ask ourselves if that zeal lacked intellect or understanding. As an older person I can say that maybe we have the intellect, but what then happens to the zeal?”
PRAY for the coming school year, as KFS staff and volunteers gear up for a new year of outreach.
PRAY for boldness as young Christians learn how to share their faith on campus.
PRAY that God would inspire many more Danish students to live out their faith and reach out to others, especially at the university level.
PRAY for revival on the high school and college campuses of Denmark, starting from the small-group studies in dorm rooms, and spreading throughout each campus to the surrounding churches.
Posted by Robert Elmer