Burning the Book is an event that the students in Mosaik Malmö took the initiative to have in order to reach their fellow students with information about what it means to be a Christian. The full name of the event is Burning the Book – An academic approach to the Bible. Burning is not in the sense as burning books, but rather more about testing the truth value of the bible.
The idea actually started almost one and a half year ago, when we in the planning of last year’s spring semester had one of our students suggesting that we ought to try to have a lecture directed towards non-believing students. The idea was put on ice, because we had much else to focus on due to the transition from having a whole team to only have me left of the original team. Then sometime last fall, one of our students had a conversation with a non-believing friend of us, where she explained why we Christians think and do as we do. His answer was something like this: “I didn’t know this! Why don’t you tell us this? This is something we should know!” A non-believer actually encouraged her to evangelize more!
Now we do not have the opportunity to evangelize on the campus as a group, but we have the opportunity to set up for a lecture that can explain the Christian way of thinking and our worldview. For a university that has studies like human rights, peace and conflict and other internationally directed studies, this his highly relevant information.
To begin with we thought of a speaker that is attending at the school. Even though he is currently studying migration, he has completed studies in theology, and we thought he would be perfect to lecture about this. Originally our plan was to have the event in the beginning of March, but in January we got the message that we had to find someone else. He had gotten unexpected extra work to complete his studies. In addition we also struggled figuring out how we could book big enough room.
During February we finally found someone who could do the lectures. Nathan Westerink, a co pastor in the home church of one of our students from Germany, fitted the desired profile and was interested in taking on the challenge. It wouldn’t even cost us anything, as he as a pastor could do this as a mission’s trip. We had found a speaker!
The next challenge was a room. In the beginning of February, the university had a conference about religion and living a life of faith, and they invited one of our students to tell about how it is like to be a Christian student on campus. One of the event organizers of this conference, Jonas Alwall, spoke with our student and Burning the Book was mentioned together with the challenge of the room. A meeting later with him and the leader team of Mosaik later, we had a second speaker, and a room booked. Not only that, we could add the logo of the university to our event poster. The event was made official! Everything was finally ready to start the advertising and in due time, about a month before the event (Easter included).
We started with a fika2go with great help from the team from Duluth that helped us with posters and handouts both for Burning the Book and Mosaik Night. We had another fika2go a little later, just before eater to invite specifically to Burning the Book, and as soon as the Easter was over, we were again outside the university to give out free coffee and tea, plus many good conversations. It have been a very hectic time both for me and the students, that have done a very great job with planning, preparing, making PR-materials and getting all this out to the students at the university.
The event itself happened on the Thursday in two consecutive weeks. The first lecture was on Thursday April 5th, and the second on the 12th. On the first night we had over 30 people coming, most of which were non-believers. The second evening we had about 25 people. After both lectures we had some time for questions and answers, and a lot of great questions came up. Some of the people that came were the student pastors at the university, and they were positively surprised, both over the amount of people coming, and the level of the event. We also got a lot of great feedback that said that the event answered a need on the university. Apparently there are many that are curious about why Christians think and do as we do, and that want to understand us better. The students of Mosaik Malmö are also quite satisfied with how the event turned out, and this probably will not be the last time we will have Burning the Book at the university.
As a leader for the group, I must say they have done an incredibly great job, and we have all learned a lot from this event, that we want to bring with us. I think it is fantastic to see how God is leading them, gives them ideas, and that they dare taking initiative. It is a great honor to get to serve them, and help them when they need help, or have too little time to do some task in Mosaik due to their studies. I am very thankful to all of you who are praying and supporting me in the ministry. You have been incredibly important to make this event a reality, and we still do not know where this may lead onward. Several of those who came have written their emails to get more information, and we are ready to start up an alpha course and follow up each of them individually in the time ahead. Exciting!
Many thanks to both the students in Mosaik Malmö and all of you who are supporting the ministry here!
Blessings, Johnny Danielsen – Mosaik Malmö