Sunday, September 20, 2015

They're open to... what, exactly?

In a few weeks a small group of young Danish Christians will gather in central Jylland for a special weekend of encouragement, worship, prayer, and challenges. It’s called “Frimodig (Openness) Weekend.” And make no mistake: These 17- to 25-year-olds are open to God’s Spirit, open to deepening their faith. They care about following Jesus, no matter where it takes them.

The weekend is sponsored by the Danish chapter of Open Doors, which focuses on persecuted believers worldwide. And many of the Danish participants have been involved with awareness campaigns and prayer for Christians in the Middle East and other high-risk areas of the globe.

In this case, October 2-4 will be a time for the young Danes to deepen relationships with each other and with the Lord. It may be a time when God impresses them with a call to lifetime service, or opens their eyes to the needs of persecuted Christians. It may be a time when God’s Spirit calls these young church leaders to influence their generation for Jesus Christ. They need our prayers.

PRAY that God would bring together just the right group, and that finances would come through for each participant.

PRAY that God would touch their hearts and meet them in a special way.

PRAY that God would open their eyes to needs in their own schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.

PRAY that God would give them hearts of compassion for the world, and that this outward-focused love would spill out across the Danish church.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Jesus for (Danish) kids

Across theological divides, this man has a vision for reaching Denmark’s young people, by all means possible. Brian Nissen is in charge of youth outreach programs through the Indre Mission -- Denmark’s Lutheran renewal movement -- but he’s asking, imploring people in churches all across Denmark to join him.

“We’re working every day with a sharply defined goal,” he wrote recently, “Denmark’s children must hear about Jesus.”

And in his role as national leader of the DFS (Sunday school) program, Nissen is doing everything he knows to make that happen this fall through weekly programs for all ages. Through programs with names such as “Messy Church and “Godly Play.”

So yes, thousands of Danish kids are hearing the Word every week. Nissen knows how important it is to teach the young. But his programs are just a starting point, he says.

“My dream is that in all churches, across fellowships and theological differences, that we make 'Jesus for kids' a priority. That we set aside time to serve as youth leaders, go on camps, drive kids to clubs or choirs, include them in our worship, and much more.

“I dream that we will include youth in our prayers, he adds, and voluntarily take on the financial support of Christian youth work in our land. So you are hereby invited to share this vision, that Denmark’s youth will hear about Jesus. Will you join in?” 

PRAY for the youth of Denmark this fall, that many more will hear about Jesus… and come to follow him. 

PRAY that many adults across Denmark will catch Brian Nissen’s vision and share in youth ministries. 

PRAY for the protection of these Danish kids, that they might be delivered from the many distractions and pitfalls of growing up, and that they might be introduced to a better way of life than their society offers. 

PRAY for a revival of faith across the land, spreading from the youth and beyond, and spreading across church traditions – from Lutheran to Pentecostal, Baptist to independent.