A Vision for the Future

Late summer 2016 BCC’s local church in Eiker launched quite a special contest. They challenged every local church throughout the world to achieve 50% of its total donation goal by July 2017. For those who achieve this goal there will be arranged a massive feast during BCC’s summer conference.

By: Kim-David Østgård – Photo: Tobias Østmoen

– The fact that provisions are made for children and young people, for the next generation, is a great motivator for me, says Tore Eriksen from BCC’s local church in Eiker.

Shortly afterwards he dons his conductor’s hat, blows his whistle and finds his place in the train compartment stage that has been set up in the TV studio. It is in the midst of the transmission of the TV program «BrunstadMagazine».

The studio set in the main hall at Oslofjord Convention Center during the transmission of «BrunstadMagazine»

The train journey idea – the result of a local need

Tore Eriksen

And for those who are wondering about what’s going on, we ask Tore to explain the background for this.

– BCC Eiker has always been very energetic, and over the course of many years we have worked to create a good framework for children and young people in our home church. A few years ago, we did an analysis of the expected growth, laid plans for the future and set ourselves a goal as to what would be necessary to cope with the growth. Several of the members in Eiker have set up a plan as to how much they want to contribute over the next few years, and so together we have devised a plan as to how long we need to continue saving before we can start up with new projects, says Tore.

But where did the train come into the picture?

– Yes, I will get to that now, Tore smiles. – In the late summer of last year, we in BCC Eiker sat down to a brain-storming session about how we could inspire both ourselves and others to reach our collection goal. We wanted to inspire all BCC’s local churches by challenging them to a competition, and there were many good ideas that came up. However, when the suggestion of a «train journey » came, the brain-storming session took completely off!

The Challenge

The members in BCC Eiker transformed the idea into a reality, and they have now challenged local churches throughout the world to jump on «The Great Train Journey ». All those local churches that manage to achieve 50% of their total collection goal by the summer of 2017, will be invited to a huge train feast during the summer conference at Brunstad.

– The interest has been huge, and many had already achieved the goal before we reached Christmas! says Tore pleased. However, we ask what reaching «50% of their collection goal» by the summer actually means, and when, according to the plan they ought to have achieved it. –The vast majority of all the local churches have, as Eiker, made plans for what they want to collect right up to December 2020. So, the plan is to finally make the goal by this point in time. However, it is always inspiring with competitions, so we set ourselves a secondary target of 50%, and are trying to get as many along with us as possible.

The BCC members from Eiker performed a catching song. Over 250 people on the stage at one time!

He sits furthest in in the train compartment together with the producer, and welcomes the local churches’ representatives continuously. Ruth Riise Bolsønes represents the local church in Molde, and looks so satisfied that the smile nearly goes around her face – We have had a lot of fun in connection with the collection and work parties in Molde, but to come here to the studio and meet other representatives is really inspiring. It is so good that Eiker took this initiative, giving us something to stretch out for, and it is always exciting to learn from one another, so I am glad for any good ideas or tips that I can take home to Molde!

Ruth R. Bolsønes is an enthusiastic representative for her home church

Background for the Whole Collection Action

After the TV recording is completed, Tore breathes a sigh of relief. – It’s quite demanding to be such a driving force and «conductor», but it is enormously motivating to meet my friends in the train compartment. It is quite clear that local churches throughout the world are occupied with making provisions for the coming generation. It is absolutely critical that those who want to hear God’s word and belong to a Christian environment have the finances to build and run their own places. We don’t want to sit passively and wait for the state to look after us. We want to do something now, and we are doing it properly!

When we ask how many local churches have given notice of their desire in being along in this competition, Eriksen answers that the interest has been overwhelming.

– We actually thought in the beginning that this would become a fun competition between the large churches in the east of Norway. However, there has been a flood of interest from the whole world. In the train compartment today, there are sitting the 17 representatives from Norway, England, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Denmark! Several of the local churches have already exceeded their secondary targets, and are steaming on towards 100% by December 2020. So now I am beginning to wonder if there will be room for all those who want to come to the feast in the summer! But we will surely find a solution, so that everyone who wants can come and be along, smiles Eriksen cunningly. – At any rate, there is certainly going to be a feast!

We have not heard the last about the great train journey, because this is just the start of an interesting year in BCC’s history.