Tonight, the gathering starts with a quick search on Google being shown on the big screen in the meeting hall. What comes up when you search for “ «Shepherd Ministry »? A couple of clicks – and the first two hits are from the book «Shepherd and Prophet » by Kåre J. Smith. But what actually is a «Shepherd Ministry»?
By: Berit H. Nilsen – Photo: Gadiel Lazcano/BCC
– Every one of you can do something that no one else can, everyone has received abilities and talents they can use. There is always someone who is worse off than you. Begin helping them, do something good for them! This is one of the quotes from this evening’s gathering. And particularly the perspective regarding care has been greatly focused upon during BCC’s Easter Camp this year.
Mentor and Shepherd
Approximately 800 of the young people in the hall are over 20 years of age, and these have put aside time to be with younger youth. They contribute by sharing knowledge and guiding the young ones in regard to the activity or specialized field in which they are interested.
We tend to call these youth «mentors», however the term «shepherd» is also used in regard to care work in the church. This is an expression that is often used in the Bible, where Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd of the flock, protects them and makes sure they get nourishment. «I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep», He says in the gospel of John chapter 10.
– Actually, everybody should be shepherds, should be occupied with helping and protecting others. The youth are encouraged to be active both in their role as mentor, and in the work as shepherd for the youth they are together with. Of course, this applies during the Easter Camp, when there is a week full of activity and fellowship. However, this applies just as much for the rest of the year in all the local teams, associations and home churches where the youth gather.
Respect for People
– Not all fit into the «A4 format», you need to be the person you are and use the abilities you have. These are good suggestions from the stage, and in the hall, over 3000 youth listen attentively. – It is to the extent that you have a connection with Jesus that you can be a good shepherd for someone. A good shepherd protects the weak, and in such a case loves gives you the strength to bear.
The participants are encouraged to have a personal Christian life and live in harmony with the words in the Bible, both in their daily life and on social media. In this way, you become a good example, and can be along in being of help for those you are together with in your closest circle and in your home church.
Participation from the Hall
Ahead of the Easter Camp the participants had the opportunity to submit questions in connection with the youth work in the church, and on the stage, things are set up for a competition. The questions are taken from the book «Shepherd and Prophet», and the youth in the hall have challenged Kåre J. Smith to compete against them.
Five young people have collected the questions sent in, and represent «Røkla (the crowd) » – all the youth in the hall. Together they are going to attempt to put Kåre J. Smith «up against the wall ». The young team are also going to be asked questions in return, and they need to give good answers to cope with a man who has had a formidable care and been a shepherd over the last 50 years, right from when he was quite a young man.
Questions and answers flew back and forth between the teams, and the presenter Bernt Aksel Larsen had quite a job keeping control of the order and awarding points. He is provided with good help from an anonymous jury who are sitting behind the scenes and continuously reporting the points. For a long time the race is pretty even, and the excitement in the hall rises. However, the young people have prepared well, and provide many good answers. When it transpires that they have run off with the victory, there is such rejoicing in the hall that you were frightened the roof might come off.
Great Party for the Winners
Kåre J. Smith joins in the rejoicing. – I was hoping you would win! There is nothing that gives me more joy than when the youth come into this life and learn to use their time and their abilities to do good for others.
The prize goes to all the youth in the hall, and a there is free taco evening in the restaurant area. The young people are everywhere, celebrating the evening’s victory, and there are happy faces every way you turn. But the greatest prize is that hundreds, or perhaps thousands of youth will continue to be good mentors and shepherds in their local surroundings.
More pictures from the evening: