In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
From the beginning of my relationship with John Henry and my travels to Norway over a period of eight years (from 1999 I have traveled to Norway approximately ten different times), and in particular over the last three years (from the beginning of the Kristiansand Foursquare Church church plant), I have been researching and studying all of the historical, spiritual, and demographic information I could find, to better assist us in seeing a Foursquare church-planting movement unleashed.
For my research and understanding for this project I have visited various historical sites in Oslo, Norway; i.e., Norway’s Resistance Museum, the Oslo State Church, the King’s Palace, etc., collecting data to gain understanding about how the historical and political influences of the country affect the churches’ potential impact. As well, I have studied briefly the Christian history of Norway, and various church movements
throughout the nation from the seventeenth century. Along with these studies I have thoroughly studied the history and development of Foursquare Norway, as well as the different leadership styles, techniques, and personal, pastoral focuses within each of the three Foursquare churches.
In preparation for my analysis and recommendations for this project, I have made a comprehensive demographic study of the five target cities and have studied the spiritual demography of each of these cities as well; i.e., the numbers of State and free churches, and all correlating statistics that may help us to better understand the makeup of the cities, to better enable us to reach each city. I also conducted several interviews (see Appendix 2) with each of the Foursquare pastors, as well as other pastors and leaders outside of Foursquare.
In writing this paper I have presented it in three sections. Section one details the history and background of the nation of Norway, specifically giving a general historical/political overview as well as an overview of the Christian history of Norway. In this section, in particular, I have written about the distinction between the Norwegian State Church and the ‘free,’ or independent, churches in Norway. I have also highlighted
three historical revival movements that God used to ‘spiritually’ awaken and touch the nation of Norway. As well, I have documented the history of Foursquare Norway and how God has used the Foursquare Church for over two decades in church planting and ministering to the people of Norway.
Because I come from a Pentecostal theological perspective, as well as personal experiences within this orthapraxy, I believe that the study and understanding of spiritual historical moves of God within the context of any city, society or country is a necessity in determining the ‘spiritual foundations’ that have been laid. God instructed Joshua to have twelve men, one from each of the tribes of Israel, to pick up a large stone from the middle of the Jordan and set up a memorial marker as a remembrance of the miracle of God that day of their crossing the flood-swollen waters of the Jordan on dry ground.
[These stones are] to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever. (Josh. 4:6-7)
Just as the memorial stones that were taken from the middle of the Jordan River were to be a lasting reminder of God’s miraculous power and provision, I believe that the same holds true for the Norwegian Church. As the Church looks back upon the gracious, miraculous works of God throughout the different revival movements