6 April 2020 | Copenhagen [Jan-Gunnar Wold]
Coronavirus in Denmark has encoureged an entire rethink of web-church. Yes, a number of churches had been live-streaming their services but the closure of all church buildings led to the idea of something more intentional.
When churches closed, a countrywide service was streamed via the Danish Union website, Adventist.dk. However, following feedback concerning people from outside the church having seen the programme, church leaders decided to “look outside our own pool”.
Searching the web for a domain, to their amazement they discovered that “webkirke.dk” (webchurch.dk) was available. From this, the picture emerged of offering a more public service.
This now means extremely intentional programming with team leadership. Personal Ministries and Sabbath School Director Henrik Jørgensen leads out in the weekly Bible study. Lisbeth Nielsen, pastor of the Silkeborg Church, is the main organiser for compiling the main worship service including a children’s story, music, and the sermon. As in many countries in Europe, this is accomplished remotely. “It is a challenge,” Pastor Nielson says, “but so far we have been quite successful.”
“What we are doing here is making the road as we drive,” says Jan-Gunnar Wold, Communication director for the Adventist Church in Denmark.
“We suddenly saw many churches going online. With the shutdown, people are in their homes, glued to their screens, looking for something worthwhile to watch. This made us rush to quickly get resources together for this new effort.
The website and newspaper ad invite people to tune in to ‘evangelical sermons’. The aim is to break down preconceptions that some Christians have about Adventists, with the hope that those that become used to seeing the Adventist service on the web will one day find their way to a physical church.
Although there is always room for the number of viewers to grow, the Union leaders find the first results very encouraging and one inspired church member concurs:
“My age makes it difficult to attend church service. We can often see sermons online, but I have missed a ‘Sabbath School class’. I have now with great interest followed the Sabbath School and service online. This means a lot to me. This initiative started during the Corona crisis is very good, but I fear it might stop after the crisis stops! But, thank you for the effort and resources for producing this. I hope and pray that other people outside our own church might also tune in and find it useful.”
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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