Pray for the year-old Thisted Bykirke (Thisted City Church)
fellowship of rural northwest Denmark, where Isak Holm has just been hired as their
first pastor. They’re optimistic about the future and excited to see what God
is doing in that community.
“When you ask what we’re happy about,” says the
congregation’s lay chairman, Thomas Boelskifte, “well, every Sunday is a joy.
It’s great to see how many are engaged in the church, and who want to be a part
of building it up.”
The fellowship is associated with Denmark’s “Valgmenighed”
alternative Lutheran churches, as well as the Inner Mission renewal movement.
Forty to 90 gather every other week to worship at the rented Inner Mission
house in Thisted.
“We meet for brunch, coffee, or dinner,” Boelskifte
explains. “We’ve seen there’s a need for that, and 45 minutes to an hour before
the worship time begins, people begin showing up to chat. It’s wonderful.”
Even so, the young fellowship faces challenges, including
many of the same challenges facing small Bible-believing fellowships that are
beginning to spring up all over the country. After all, many Danes are not used
to this kind of church.
“The challenge is that people will still show up when the
newness wears off,” says Boelskifte. “The best thing would be if people would
simply come every time, that they wouldn’t decide (whether to attend) from time
to time. And it will also be a challenge that we won’t be disappointed if, some
Sunday, only 35 people show up.”
Prayer concerns? That they will reach out to all of the Thy
region, that Thisted Bykirke would be a place for everyone. That God’s Word
would be preached faithfully. And, added Boelskifte, “That we’ll persevere.”
PRAY for the
growth of the new Thisted Bykirke, that a faithful core would continue and grow
in worship and unity.
PRAY for the
group’s new pastor, Isak Holm, that God would give him favor and inspiration.
PRAY that this
small fellowship would remain faithful to God’s Word, week after week.
PRAY that revival
would come to this corner of the country, and that it would start at Thisted
What happens when a person returns from a great youth group
event, a camp experience, or an exciting conference? We have yet to find out,
as Danish youth from all over the country return to their everyday lives
following the Brighter four-day youth conference, held last month in Mariager.
Brighter is a cooperative effort between groups like Youth
for Christ, Vineyard Danmark, the Baptists, and the Lutheran Oasis renewal
“Brighter is a cross-church youth event for the entire
country,” said conference organizer Rasmus Jonstrup, “where you’re welcome just
as you are. We live in a culture where so much revolves around things that have
to be beautiful. There has to be a good presentation. It has to be impressive.
The problem with that is it often becomes too shallow. And that’s not what we
want at Brighter. In contrast, we want a conference that’s authentic. Where
there’s room for all our humanity. All our mistakes, and all our doubts. We
want a conference where there’s room for all, just as we are. Where we can be
real in all that we do. Our songs, and our teaching. And in our fellowship. Brighter
is for everyone.”
For many Danish youth, it’s been a mountaintop experience.
And why not? The teaching, music, fun, and fellowship… everything they enjoyed
at Brighter must have seemed larger than life. Especially if they returned to school
assignments and family tensions. To small towns and small churches.
Let’s pray for these young Danes now, that the glow of this
special time will remain, and that what they learned will carry through to the
next few months… before it’s time to return to the Brighter mountaintop next
PRAY for all the young
Danes who attended this national youth conference, that God would help them apply
and live what they learned and experienced.
PRAY for youth
leaders across Denmark, that they would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s
leading as they face the coming year.
PRAY for more
workers to be inspired as they follow up and return to their daily routines.
PRAY for revival
among Denmark’s young people, that God would move through their lives and their
examples to bring a whole new generation to Jesus Christ.
Things are warming up in the small town of Skjern (western
Denmark), where believers have turned a cold storage facility into a beautiful
new multi-purpose worship center. Late last month, much of the town and
well-wishers from surrounding cities crammed into the new 600-seat sanctuary at
the Skjern Bykirke (City Church) to celebrate.
During opening ceremonies September 23, Copenhagen-area
pastor Niels Jørn Fogh complemented the growing independent Lutheran
congregation for their vision.
“But I don’t think this church center is just an expression
of your West Jylland pioneering spirit and building skills,” he told them.
“It’s also an expression of how the Holy Spirit leads, works, and encourages.”
The building now hardly resembles the former Danish Crown
meat packing center. Besides opening up a large space for worship, the new church
facility also includes plenty of room for youth, offices, and a café. Skilled
and unskilled volunteers provided much of the needed labor.
“We believe it’s going to be a place where more people in
Skjern can meet Jesus,” said congregation president Jan Christiansen. “We’re
really praying for that. That more people will meet Jesus through us.”
Skjern Bykirke was established in 2006, and is part of the
Evangelical Lutheran free congregations. It currently includes 430 members, but
that number will be growing!
PRAISE GOD for
this new facility, and for the impact this church will have on a small
PRAY for the leadership
at Skjern Bykirke, for wisdom as they follow what God is doing there.
PRAY with this
congregation that more people will come to know Jesus in Skjern and the
PRAY that this
entrepreneurial example will encourage other believers throughout Denmark to
step out where the Spirit of God leads.
Last September we prayed for the newest Christian college in
Denmark, Hovedstadens Kristne Gymnasium, or HKGYM. At the time it was still a
dream, however, and a year away from opening. Who knew what would happen?
This month the strategically located school (it’s in the
Vanløse neighborhood of Copenhagen) has been dedicated, classes are open, and
instructors are in place. And a new rector, Sigbjørn Sørensen, is excited about
the doors God is opening for them in the coming year.
“The first school year is going to be a year of learning
together for everyone,” he says.
Now 20 or more young, excited Danes are preparing for
lifetimes of service in the second-floor facility, with faith-based studies in
everything from design and technology to media and Christian studies. There’s
even a study tour planned to the United States.
In a secular society like Denmark’s, this new opportunity to
study under Christian educators, in an environment where Christian faith is
supported and encouraged, is huge. These students and educators need our
PRAY for the
first group of students, that God would honor this step of faith and that they
would grow as believers.
PRAY for students
who may not yet know Christ, that their lives would be transformed.
PRAY that even
more students and instructors would be added, that this school would thrive and
PRAY for the
instructors, that they would faithfully guide their students and model
PRAY for Rector
Sigbjørn Sørensen and the HKGYM leadership, for godly wisdom in this first year
THANK God for
moving in the lives of young Danes at HKGYM.