We are a very active congregation, both spiritually and on a natural level. Through all of our activities, we aim to strengthen our sense of community and well-being so that each individual can grow.
Depending on the options available and the needs of each local church, regular activities and gatherings are offered for every age group.
We gather regularly for meetings, often several times a week. These meetings are a very important part of our church-life, where we receive help, exhortation, and comfort, and where we are strengthened in the faith that we share. Even though some have a greater responsibility for the spiritual edification in the church, everyone is a part – both young and old, men and women. Everyone who has something edifying to contribute has freedom to participate; many participate with prophecy, testimony, song, or prayer. This makes the gatherings living and interesting for us, and in this way we get to know each other better.
Children can attend Sunday school from the time they are quite young all the way until they become teenagers. Many methods, including skits, films, and storytelling are used to teach the children Bible stories and love for their fellow men. Young people, who have themselves become happy through the gospel, speak with enthusiasm about what God has done for them and about the promises we have in the Bible. This makes an impression on children. All our activities – fun and serious – knit the children, young people, and adults together.
Most local churches regularly arrange a variety of fun activities for children and young people, often through the Activity Club. There is a wide range of activities, for example overnight camping trips to craft nights, sports. The activities are mainly organized by older youth who volunteer their free time to be good role models for children and young people. In this way the children’s interest in their heavenly calling is awakened, and at the same time they learn to appreciate values such as honesty, helpfulness, caring, and compassion.
Youngsters aged 14-15 can attend a Bible instruction course. The aim is that the participants can become familiar with God’s Word and be instilled with the Christian values that lead to a rich life. This course is usually held weekly for six months, and often ends with a church celebration.
The church has very many young people, and most local fellowships arrange weekly meetings specifically for them. The meetings are held by and for youth ages 12-35, and are typically lead by the local church’s youth leader. As in regular meetings, everyone participates in the edification, and many young people contribute by speaking, testifying, songs, and prayer. These meetings generally address pertinent topics that young people are interested in.
Youth meetings are usually held at regional and international conferences. We also have regular youth conferences.
In many countries, we have our own conference centers where we hold regular regional, national, and international conferences. In addition to edifying meetings, the conferences often have sports and cultural activities available.
The church’s most important gathering place is the Brunstad conference center in Stokke near Tønsberg. International conferences are held here several times a year. Most conferences coincide with vacations or holidays, and some target specific audiences. Several thousand friends from all over the world attend the conferences; the meetings are also followed by thousands via live TV.
Conferences and the wide variety of activities help develop a sense of community that traverses city and national borders.
There are many occasions to celebrate, and in the church we often use these occasions as a chance to have a festive gathering. The celebrations vary by county and culture, but the main Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter are of course celebrated according to local traditions. The same applies to national holidays, which the friends in the church celebrate together.
Birthdays are also celebrated in the usual way, and often together with family and friends. On special anniversaries, the entire local church often gathers for a feast that includes songs, messages, and personal testimonies.
Growing old brings both new perspectives and limitations in life. We greatly appreciate our senior citizens and their collective experience and wisdom. While the younger forces take care of day-to-day tasks, many older ones spend significant time in prayer, to the great help and benefit of the entire church. Several local churches also arrange senior social gatherings that include activities and trips. The fellowship and atmosphere in these occasions lets you see especially clearly the good fruits that result from faithfulness and self-sacrifice throughout a long life.
Gifts, or talents, can be something we are born with or something given to us as spiritual gifts by God later in life. We want to use our gifts to edify and help one another in every way.
We have different gifts, such as evangelizing, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, leading, carrying out practical tasks, caring for others and so on. By boldness and care each individual can use his or her gifts to be of help and to be useful where this is needed. In faith to God we can also pray to receive those gifts we require to be able to fill the needs around us.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” 1 Cor. 12:4–13.
Although we currently have 180 fellowships in more than 65 countries worldwide, our church has little formal organization.
We firmly believe that God works and leads in the life of each person who has an unselfish and positive attitude. Our community is therefore built on members using their individual abilities and interests for the welfare and edification of the church.
Most local churches hold weekly meetings in their own hall, a rented hall, or in private homes. Additional activities vary according to the size and age range for the church members.
During church services, members are free to participate. In this way, brothers and sisters—men and women—grow in their ability to serve and help each other.
Local churches work closely together both on a national and international level. This often occurs in conjunction with regional and international conferences.
The board of each church has responsibility for any local church property. The board consists of the church leader and several others. Each church has one or more leaders, most of whom don’t have any theological education. Through faith and obedience to God’s word, individuals grow naturally into this task and earn people’s confidence. In this way the church leader is chosen according to the biblical pattern.
Once a year, the leading brothers from many of the churches come together. Beyond this, there is no central organization or administration.