Sunday, November 30, 2014

Missional Denmark?

Do we worry first about ourselves first, or look outward to the mission and calling of Jesus? Next month, Danish church leaders must ask themselves that question as they come together for a hard look at the focus of their church. Judging by their choice of a main speaker, it looks like something called the “missional movement” will flavor their perspective.

And that’s a good thing. This movement emphasizes mission and outreach over buildings, budgets, and programs. It’s disciple-making at its core, becoming the sent people of Jesus to a world that needs him – in the world, but not of it. It’s all about the mission.

Thus the invitation to Alan Hirsch, a South Africa-born writer and leader in the missional movement. He’s the founding director of Forge Mission Training Network, and co-leads an effort to help churches become more mission-focused, called Future Travelers.

“I’ve been to Denmark a couple of times,” he told potential conference-goers in a video. “I love the country. We’re going to be talking about the essentials of the missional movement. We’ll look at all things in a new light, and hopefully find renewal in our love for God, love for Jesus, and our commitment to follow Him and change the world in his name.”

Sponsored by LederOase (Leader Oasis), the gathering is planned for January 24 at the Scandic Hotel in København.

PRAY that more and more Danish churches would look beyond themselves and catch the vision to reach out to their communities, searching out real needs.

PRAY that many would attend this conference and be inspired to make a difference. Pray for representatives from a wide variety of denominations, and from fellowships of all sizes.

PRAY for Alan Hirsch, that he would connect to the group and understand their perspectives. Pray that there would be no language barrier. Pray for his health and safety.

PRAY that God would use this key event as a spark to ignite renewal and outreach in the Danish church!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Acting Up

You may not hear his name mentioned at next year’s Academy Awards. But a young Danish actor is using his talent and humor in a way that is reaping more lasting rewards than any golden trophy.

Today Jens Jødal is criss-crossing his small country, putting on biblically themed one-man shows and larger theatrical productions through a ministry called Kirketeateret (“The Church Theater”). And he goes where the people are, bringing his unique energy and humor to church services, youth groups, outdoor summer camps, and schools. He offers a gospel message many young Danes (and their parents) may never have heard before.  

In one show, Jødal is the apostle Peter, demonstrating what it’s like to struggle as a flawed follower of Jesus. In another, he’s the good Samaritan (and the Samaritan’s donkey). He’s Moses, the prodigal son, or Daniel. He makes his audiences laugh. But before the laughter trails away, he also makes them think.

And it’s not just Bible-based shows, either. Jødal and his crew are leading Easter and drama workshops, musicals, even worship opportunities for teens. He’s challenging young people (as well as adults) by pulling them into the stories -- and the truth -- of the Bible. 

“It needs to be interesting to capture young people,” he says. “Preaching can certainly be entertaining, and entertainment can be preaching. My specialty is to provide preaching and entertainment -- at the same time!” 

PRAY for Jens Jødal and his ministry, that many young people and their families will be introduced to the truth of the Bible through drama. 

PRAY that God would enlarge this ministry and open new doors into new venues where the unchurched will hear the gospel. 

PRAY that God would draw even the entertainers and actors closer to himself through this entertainment, for changed lives and revival in Denmark.