Tuesday, January 01, 2019

A new church in Outskirts Denmark

Last November, we prayed for outreach on the island of Bornholm.  As it turns out, this movement may represent some of the most unique church planting in Denmark today.

What’s different about it?

As one Danish pastor points out, the movement tackles two issues, head-on: economic stress on urban Christian families, and “Udkantsdanmark.”

Believers in Rønne reach out to the community during a family event.
Translated, that long word means “Outskirts Denmark,” and it refers to 16 less strategically situated communities that have found themselves in the economic wake of better-known, more fortunate areas in the rest of Denmark.

Though civic pride and polite conversation veils much of the disparity, there’s a growing realization that the playing field may not be as level as once assumed. Forward-thinking believers have taken that as an open door, however, through an organized exodus from the pressures of city life in Copenhagen to the open doors and church-planting opportunities in the town of Rønne on the remote island of Bornholm.

“We’ve experimented during the past year,” says Vineyard Pastor Helle Samuelsen. “Four families with children from the Copenhagen Vineyard experienced a clear call to pull up roots and plant ourselves on the island of Bornholm. Here, the houses are inexpensive, which gave most of us the time to invest in church planting and in the people we meet.”

These missionary families meet weekly to encourage each other and compare outreach strategies, something Samuelsen calls “very exciting and a very different way of doing church.”

Leaving behind their hurried, stressed lives in the capital, says Samuelsen, “we’re able to do things that give our lives meaning as Christians. We have the opportunity and the time to enter into the lives of people. And we’re experiencing that we’re right where we can make a difference.

“We don’t have fancy worship services and we probably won’t ever become a megachurch. But out here in the outskirts, local church planting has been able to become the hope of Outskirts Denmark.”

PRAY for these four families in the coming year as they invest their lives in church planting and lifestyle evangelism.

PRAY that God would bring them into contact with just the right people, and that many would come to know and follow Jesus as a result.

PRAY that God would equip even more Christian families from the growing economic centers to step out into the smaller “Outskirts” communities of Denmark. Pray that they would catch the vision!

PRAY that God would grow churches and bring revival to Outskirts Denmark through this new movement of believers.