Brunstad Christian Church is a vibrant church that is full of activity, both on spiritual and practical levels. What is the purpose behind everything that happens in the church?
In the article: One week with Brunstad Christian Church we met six people from BCC in Østfold so we could get a snapshot of life in the church. After spending a week with them, we can draw this conclusion: There is an incredible amount that happens during the course of a week in BCC. What is actually the purpose behind all the activity?
Ole Olsen is the leader of the church in Østfold. Olsen says that the activity in the church has several objectives. “First and foremost we have the spiritual goals which are the driving force of everything we do. However, the work in the church also includes a practical and a more human and social element.
“Everything we do is tied to the goal of having faith-strengthening gatherings for those who are present, and everything should be done in a way that brings honor to body of Christ which is being built now in the time of the new covenant.”
When we have a heart that desires to serve God, then everything has a spiritual benefit.
Olsen adds the explanation that the body of Christ is a biblical analogy of the people who live according to God’s Word and His will here on earth. Christ is the Head of this body, and every member is directly connected to Him. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,” Paul writes to the Corinthians. (1 Cor. 12:13) In this Spirit, Who drives us to condemn the sin within ourselves, we have access to the Father,” explains Olsen. “And all those who live this life have fellowship with one another. When these people get together there is fellowship. When we have a heart that desires to serve God, then everything has a spiritual benefit.
Anders Andersen is the leader of the youth group in Østfold. Each Friday, they have a youth meeting. The youth are involved in many activities throughout the week: including Activity Club on Tuesdays, youth meetings on Fridays, and church meetings on Sundays.
Anderson also talks about the goal behind all the activity in the church: that everyone be strengthened and develop in his or her relationship to God. For a young person, it is a lofty goal to overcome the sinful tendencies and lusts that strongly influence all human beings, not least during the years of their youth time. When individuals focus on overcoming in the different circumstances in their lives, there are no quarrels or splits; quite the contrary, people have fun, and there is thankfulness and unity.
Ole Olsen emphasizes the other objectives of the activities in the church. He points to the children and youngest youth as an example. “Children and young people need activities. That generates enthusiasm and involvement.
Children and young people need activities. That generates enthusiasm and involvement.
Children and youth are a vulnerable group. Until they are born again, they need activities that motivate them. The thing that often preserves them during this time of their lives is the goodness they see and experience from people who are close to them.
Anderson points out that being involved in something has a preserving effect. The alternative is that they spend their time aimlessly, without a goal or purpose, and then the danger is much greater for them to end up in something they will regret later in life.
The practical aspect
Ole Olsen is also interested in the practical benefits of volunteer work, especially for young people. Olsen talks here about how the young people are taught good skills that will serve them well in their careers. Through volunteer work, they learn how to do many different kinds of tasks such as painting, carpentry, tile laying, serving at banquets, food preparation, and not least, administration and leadership. The list is long. “We also see that the young people gain a sense of ownership for what they are involved in. For example, we have very little vandalism.
“In society, people cry out for action and social programs, and expect society to step in and help them out. The culture in Brunstad Christian Church is to provide our own action. We get to work, and involve the young people as well.”
Andersen and Olsen both talk enthusiastically about the importance of being allowed to contribute, whether in the form of physical work, or participating in arranging events, trips, or activities for children and youth.
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched”
Giving of oneself – giving your time and energy for others, brings you an unbelievably great joy and blessing.
“Giving of oneself – giving your time and energy for others, brings you an unbelievably great joy and blessing. ‘Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,’ it is written in Proverbs 11:25 (ESV ). These are quite simply God’s laws being fulfilled,” says Andersen enthusiastically.
“It was fun to see: my thirteen year old daughter came home from a cleaning work-party yesterday. She was beaming from ear to ear, so pleased,” says Anderson. “It means a lot to them to be able to participate in doing something – and to feel needed.”
He also tells enthusiastically about the Activity Club. Through it, the children gain experiences for life together with older youth who are good examples for them. “Here they meet young people who think about them and plan fun things for them – young people who give them their full and complete attention. That is really significant. For the young people themselves, it is also a fantastic help for them to get their thoughts off themselves and their own egos. When you ask them, they are so happy and thankful. They are cheerful. They work with themselves so that they can become more patient and have a greater love for the children.
So, the activities in the church are beneficial on many levels. Olsen and Anderson’s primary focus is on edification and fellowship with the other members, which is an essential help for us to be able to live according to God’s will. They also both point to the preserving effect that the activities in the church have for the children and youth, as well as beneficial the fun and joy it gives. The activities and volunteer work also bring many practical benefits and much blessing to everyone.