I am with my good friend Helge Hollerud for a few days as part of the Eurochurch.net organizing group.  Helge leads a growing congregation that is part of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Church in the small Norwegian town of Lyngdal. The total population is around 8,000 people.  It’s a healthy church and Helge is an experienced pastor who loves to see people come to faith and grow in faith. 

More interestingly, there are four churches in the town and all four are growing.  So much so that Helge estimates that the churches in the town have an active contact/ relationship with around half of the people in that place.  This is certainly not typical for Norway as a whole.

Why should this be?  All four are “evangelical” in the sense of having a passion for mission and the gospel.  There are good leaders in these churches. Just as important they are committed to working together and the people in their community see this and know it. 

Helge points out the high level of prayer – daily – that takes place, prayer for the town not just for the churches.  This is not a template for all but it is an encouragement for many.  We can actually buck the trend and in fact change the trend over time.

Blog Post by: Rev. Dr Martin Robinson