Over many years, BCC has carried out active missionary work on several continents. Via the net, through personal contact and through support of regional conference centers, the church has worked in order that the gospel might be spread to all mankind.
Text: Johanne Reiersrud – Photo: BCC
Donations to the missionary work have been a regular and important part of the church’s collections for many years, and every six months members throughout the world gather in front of TV screens to follow along with the mission-focused services that are arranged in various countries and local churches. In October it’s the local church Linnenbach’s turn, and they focusing particularly on the missions collection for this feast.
Jesus’ Great Commission is the foundation
Since it’s small beginning in the 1900’s, BCC, with its vision of bringing individuals in connection with Jesus, has worked so that a personal faith can be born in individuals. Gathering many members has never been a goal in itself, and it is Jesus’ Great Commission that has formed the basis for our work with bringing the doctrine of the Gospel to all mankind.
På 70-tallet: Aksel J. Smith m.fl., på misjonsreise i Mexico. Foto: BCC
Meeting People where They Are
Johan Oscar Smith spoke to people he met in his profession as marine officer, and in the course of time he found fellow-believers along the whole of the Norwegian coastline. From Norway the same word continued to spread to several countries, first and foremost to Northern Europe. After Smith’s death, others continued to travel round about and preach the word, and the message reached several continents. Today there are thriving local churches spread throughout the whole of Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
BCC has contributed financially and otherwise to the construction of a dozen conference centers throughout several continents. Members from all over the world have supported these efforts, facilitating more people being able to gather around the Gospel – not least people in countries with fewer financial resources. In turn, the Gospel spreads from person to person through ordinary encounters in the course of daily life. This person to person mission work has always been and continues to be the church’s missionary profile.
Missionary Work Creates New Possibilities in Poor Parts of the World
Through projects in several countries, have people in poorer regions received places to gather, and workplaces have been created. This form of indirect humanitarian aid is in many ways “help to self-help”. According to our experience this is the best help to give others both in the short and the long term.
In connection with several of these projects, active occupational training is being given to young people who otherwise might have very limited work possibilities. In this way, we can provide motivated people with the opportunity to support themselves. The mission projects have therefore created many positive trickle-down effects, where resourceful people with abilities and a desire to contribute positively in their own environment have grown up in otherwise impoverished regions.
All this leads back to Jesus’ Great Commission, making people disciples and teaching them to keep His words. Jesus Himself was on the giving side all His life, and even when he was hanging on the cross, He wanted to be of help to those around Him.
2013: Opening celebration for the church’s meetingplace in Camerun. Photo: BCC
BCC’s Missionary Tools on the Net
BCC also has a net-based tool for reaching out with the Christian message. Milenko van der Staal, for many years the director of the brunstad.org webpage, tells us that the church in 2016 put even more energy into the platform aktivkristendom.no / activechristianity.org. The main focus of these pages is a continuous strengthening of the faith and the mission, and in the course of 2017 they are to be translated into as many as 15 languages.
Here, everyone who is interested in reading about BCC’s faith and doctrine can find the church’s core literature which are easily accessible as e-books. The message of the Gospel is presented by articles on the net, films and personal testimonies. Social media is actively used in order to reach more, and in this way new readers are led to the main content of the webpage.
Milenko van der Staal is the editor for activechristianity.org, and is engaged in the translating the webpage to multiple languages. Photo: BCC
Sharing Ones Personal Faith
– Almost all of us who are in the church have come as a result of having talked to someone about the Gospel, says Milenko van der Staal. – we ourselves have been given the Gospel by others, be it from our families, one of our relations or others, and that has given us the most valuable thing we have – our personal faith.
This is something we will continue with, and we know that much of the communication between people today takes place on the net. For this reason, it is important to be present on these channels. If you should meet someone who is interested in reading more, you can refer them to our webpages, where much good material is readily available.
Focusing on Translation to Reach Even More People
– The visitors to our webpage come from around 100 countries over several continents, and an increasing group are these are Spanish speakers. For this reason, much emphasis is placed on translation and development of the webpage to Spanish and several other languages, continues Milenko. – We are a small group who work with this “matter of the heart” every day, and the central editorial staff consists of a few permanent employees. However, the mission work for this webpage is carried out by several dozen volunteers throughout the world, who contribute with articles, reading material and translation.
Arranging Another Service this Fall in Southern Germany
A few weeks’ ago, BCC’s members gathered once again for a new world-wide mission–focused service, this time sent from Germany. The church in Linnenbach had been preparing the event for almost a year and well exceeded the high goals for the mission collection this fall. The effect that these funds will have for the future remains to be seen in the years to come.
Every 6 months, there is arranged a local mission servie which is transmitted to all the other churches in BCC. This picture is from the event in Austria in October 2016. Photo: BCC