Another interesting yesterday at Danish Oase here in Odder, Denmark. Our Bible study this morning was a call to get us to consider again the robustness of the gospel and to avoid simplistic, reduced gospels — so I worked through some ideas in Embracing Grace. Today I will be giving my final address, this one on seven realities of a missional life.
What was most interesting yesterday was that I was invited to attend a pastor’s networking session for lunch and, during the announcements, learned — rather haltingly because they were speaking Danish — that I was the featured speaker! So, I asked someone next to me what was said, and he said, “We’re looking forward to what you have to say about the future of the church.” I said, “OK.” Got my act together, sat in a corner, jotted down some notes of things I’ve been blogging, thinking, and writing about … and by the blessing of God the session went very well. I talked about trends going on in the American Christian scene — including youthful suspicion, relational theology, radical democracy, the impact small groups are having on Sunday morning services, the need for participation and conversation, etc … There was some question and answer time, and it was profitable for all of us. We had smøbord for lunch — don’t even ask how to pronounce that one. The Danish say we will all speak Danish in heaven because it takes an eternity to learn it!
Then we had a newspaper interview with a paper out of Copenhagen about the emerging movement — trying to clarify both the American scene and answer some questions about the Danish scene. In many ways, because the Danish Church hasn’t gone through the Jesus Movement, the Body-Life movement, and the massive impact denominational splintering has on the American church, the Danish kind of emerging movement will be considerably different. But, then I emphasized that I’m very new to the Danish emerging scene and have very few ideas that are fixed. There are some very impressive leaders here: both Henrik Holmgaard and Tomas (can’t remember his family name) are strong young leaders with a solid vision and courage to make it happen.
Kris and I took a long, long walk and we had dinner and then attended the worship service. I don’t know if I have said this, but there are 3000 people at this Danish Oase conference — and they can really worship in song. The evening music is a special treat for us. Kris got a picture of the band when they were practicing just before the service began.