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The Pancake Church

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The multitudes are gathering. The sign says "Free pancakes"

The multitudes are gathering. The sign says “Free pancakes”

Two and a half years ago, I feared street evangelism. It felt strange and silly to talk about Jesus to strangers, and I was terrified to meet someone I actually knew! However, I realized that street evangelism obviously was something that Jesus and the apostles frequently did, and instead of trying to argue that we shouldn’t live like Jesus and the apostles (like many others tragically do), I decided to join some friends who were going out on the streets of Uppsala giving pancakes to people and sharing the Gospel.

It basically changed my life.

Tools for evangelism

Tools for evangelism

Today, I’m one of the local leaders of the Pancake Church of Uppsala, and I love to share the Gospel. My former evangeliphobia effectively melted as I discovered how easy and naturally it is to chat with people over a pancake. We try to create a relaxed atmosphere where people can hang around and have a good time. And many of the youths don’t have any problem with discussing religion – on the contrary, they often have strong opinions about it. Some are provocative, yes, but most aren’t. Actually, it’s quite amazing how many are interested in seeking God in this secularized country.

Hannes (the tall guy) talking to people about Jesus

Hannes (the tall guy) talking to people about Jesus

We’ve seen several come to Christ through this ministry. Some of them, we’ve followed through a process of months or years, where they have repeatedly come back to the pancake table over and over again. Others have been saved on the spot. One girl came to us when we were at a big music festival and suddenly started to cry. The pancake people asked her why, and she said that she didn’t know. Some friends to me named Christian and Thomas talked to her, prayed for her, prophecied over her and shared testimonies about how God had completely changed their lives, and she continued to cry until she said that she wanted to be saved. I’ll never forget the smile on Christian’s face when he ran to us to tell us these good news.

Happy evangelists. The sign reads "Do you want a prayer?"

Happy evangelists. The sign reads “Do you want a prayer?”

We also see a lot of healings. My friend Daniel (to the right on the picture above) once prayed for a young man who was cross-eyed to the point that he could only read big-sized text. After prayer, the guy’s friend exclaimed “Dude, your eyes look normal!!” and suddenly he could both read text messages on his cell phone as well as the Bible. Another time, my friend Johan prayed for a guy’s back and knees. Afterwards, he exclaimed that in all his life, he had never been able to bend his knees or straighten his back like he now was able to do. “All pain is gone, I feel absolutely nothing! It’s like air!” he said.

The Pancake Worship Team

The Pancake Worship Team

God seems to like the Pancake Church! I’m convinced that this is how the church is supposed to function. When Jesus healed people or called them to follow Him, He was almost always outdoors. If He for once was indoors, it was because He visited someone else’s house. When the apostles healed people or led them to Christ, they were almost always outdoors. If they for once were indoors, it was because they visited somone else’s house. It’s true, check the Book if you don’t believe me!

How in the world did the church manage to view the sunday service in a church building as the Christian norm while street evangelism is seen as an option for a few, “called” people? Why is sitting and listening to a thousand sermons in one’s lifetime viewed as mandatory, while telling people on the streets about Jesus is viewed as optional? It’s time the whole body of Christ take it to the streets and share God’s love where normal people hang around, instead of trying to drag them to foreign ground (=church). This clip says it well:

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8 Comments

  1. Amen, brother! Love this post. In fact I’m going to email it around. I often hear arguments against evangelism – that people don’t want to hear it, and instead we should get to know them and then invite them to church events. But I don’t see how many people will want to come to church, unless they want to worship God! We desperately need to get the gospel out there, where people are at… then they might want to come and worship God with us. Look forward to hearing more!

    • Wow, thank you so much for your encouragement! Yes, feel free to spread it on 🙂

      I’ve heard that argument many times as well, people view relational evangelism as superior to street evangelism in order to dismiss the latter. Problem is that then you either have to view Jesus and the apostles as stupid, or admit that street evangelism indeed is effective, since they used that strategy quite a lot. There’s nothing wrong with relational evangelism, I believe in that as well. But the Bible never says that it is better or more effective than street evangelism.

      God bless you, keep spreading the Kingdom!

      • Aw, you too! I agree. And if Sweden is anything like the UK (secular), most people will have so little understanding of Christianity, they are unlikely to attribute kindness shown to them to Jesus but to the person themselves. It’s good to be clear as to where the love comes from, I think! God bless 🙂

        • Absolutely, it’s very important to clearly state that the source and engine of all what we do is Jesus Christ. My key verses to evangelism is Rom 15:18-19, where Paul states that he preaches the gospel “by word and deed and in the power of signs and wonders”. We need all three of them. In fact, the vision of the Pancake church is that all are activities should contain telling, serving and praying. And I believe that sharing the Gospel with words is the most important, or else people may not get that the source is Jesus.

          We actually had quite a dramatic experience of this. A pancake friend of mine named Andreas spent a long time talking with a guy when we were out about God. He ended up praying for this guy, and then they wished one another good night.

          Some time afterwards, another pancake friend of mine called Josefine discovered that this guy had written about his Pancake Church experience on his blog! There, he wrote that when Andreas prayed for him, he mentioned things that he possibly could not have known, things like this guy’s closest friends didn’t know. The blogger wrote that he then realized that the supernatural does exist, but guess what he did then? He collected some new age amuletts and stuff, lighted some candles, and started to invoke the presence of spirits!

          Obviously, he didn’t see a difference between spirituality and spirituality. However, when he did this a cold, unpleasent sensation filled the room. He got quite scared and didn’t know what to do, but then he realized that Andreas had mentioned Jesus, not new age spirits. So he collected some bibles that his family had at home and put them on the table in front of him and prayed “Jesus, if you exist, take away this creepy sensation.”

          According to the blog post, a wind suddenly blew in the room, the candles extinguished and – most amazingly – the Bible pages flipped up to passages where Jesus is driving out evil spirits from people! he got quite stunned. He ended his blog post with “Well, I’m not gonna get super-Christian, but…”

          Unfortunately, his blog is deleted nowadays but I have several friends who’ve seen this. We rejoiced that Jesus had met him so clearly, but it reminded us that we have to be very clear about Jesus and explain His superiority. If not, people may draw quite weird conclusions sometimes.

  2. […] I was visiting the Pancake Church of Kungsbacka in western Sweden. Unlike us in Uppsala who go out on the streets, these people […]

  3. […] weekend, an evangelistic group known as the Pancake Church occupies the central square in the Swedish town of Uppsala to hand out free pancakes and share […]

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The author

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Check out my YouTube channel!

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