Students in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, were surprised by the turnout at their mission week events in April. “On several occasions we had to get more chairs for both the evening and lunchtime meetings,” explains Anders Kildahl Keseler, a staff member with KFS, the IFES national movement in Denmark.
Reflecting on the response to this special week of evangelistic events, Anders was reminded of philosopher Charles Taylor’s observation, in the book A Secular Age: “People today seem to be at a safe distance from religion, but they are deeply moved to know that there are dedicated believers.”
But the non-Christian students who engaged with the mission week were more than just moved – they were genuinely open and curious about the good news of Jesus.
“They were interested in hearing about the relevance of faith for Christian students, how faith adds
something special to our lives, and how one can reconcile science and faith,” shares Anders.
Following the theme of Imagine, the week’s talks explored such topics as “Imagine if I could live without shame” and “Imagine if I were more than my job.”
One member of the Christian Union (student group) had several classmates who asked if they could attend a lunchtime lecture. Afterwards, they asked if they could join a group to read the Bible together. Following the mission week, new Bible study groups were launched for students who want to explore the Christian faith.
Anders and his team are thankful for the Holy Spirit’s work in drawing students towards Jesus during the Imagine mission. But what human factors contributed to the week’s success?
“In the past, we invited foreign speakers to give lunchtime talks, but this year they were all delivered by Danish students,” Anders explains. “It makes a lot of sense. We could clearly see how the audience related much more easily to them. Because the speakers were students, their talks got personal very easily: they talked about their own lives, doubts, and faith. This created strong and compelling testimonies.”
Three of the four student speakers received training last September at a Nordic FEUER conference where they were able to deliver “practice” evangelistic talks for the first time. FEUER, the Fellowship of Evangelists in the Universities of Europe, is a region-wide network of evangelists that works with national movements across Europe, and from which networks like Nordic FEUER have developed.
In addition to the novelty of student speakers, Anders notes the impact of a strong social media campaign. Several students attended talks after seeing events advertised on Facebook and Instagram, rather than needing to be invited by friends.
“The talks opened up many good conversations that I think will continue in the Bible study groups,” Anders says. “We are excited to follow the aftermath of these events.”
Please pray for students in Denmark:
- Pray that Jesus would reveal himself to the non-Christian students attending the Uncover Bible study groups that launched after the mission week.
- Pray for faithfulness and endurance for the Christian students who have started new Bible study groups or had friends come to one of the events.
- Pray that the Christian Union in Aarhus will seize these moments of openness among students to share Jesus with their friends.
- Ask the Lord to provide more Christian students to help at next year’s mission. The recent mission week had fewer talks compared to pre-pandemic times because the Christian Union has fewer members.