The same message in a new form

It’s just past 7 pm, and even though there’s almost an hour before the evening’s program begins, youngsters from aged 13 years and over are already streaming into the main hall. They are early, much earlier than usual, because they want a good seat. What makes these teenagers sit still and wait?

By Johanne Reiersrud – Photos by Anne-Sophie Tombre

BCC has made some major changes in recent years, and one of them is a focus on the youth within the church. Our Christian faith and the doctrine of the church are conveyed in new ways and with simple words that even the youngest youth can understand. Events for the same target group are planned several times a year.

Tonight, the hall is packed with young people waiting for “iFront Live” to start. Photo: BCC

Prioritizing the young people gives results

In the Easter of 2018, 4,500 youth from all over the world gathered for activities and Christian messages at the BCC youth camp. One of the highlights of the evening events was “iFront Live”, a television program for youth sent directly from the main hall. Round two of the same program is happening during the summer conference now.

This is what the young people have been looking forward to. At 8 pm, almost 3,000 young people have logged in to the app being used tonight, which has four main languages: Norwegian, English, German and Dutch.

Competition questions create afterthoughts

Everything is ready for competition in the main hall, where the entire audience is invited to participate via their mobile phones. Photo: BCC

The hall is divided into two zones that compete against each other and the audience is challenged to answer questions via their mobile phones.

Older adults who have worked as youth workers throughout their adult lives will actively participate with guidance and input from the stage, and our leader, Kåre Smith, is one of those who will expand on the chosen topics during the evening. In an exciting way, the competition gives new insights into faith-related, everyday issues that resonate with young people.

The team leaders Harald Kronstad and Trond Eriksen have come prepared and have short speeches for each topic in which they compete. They hope that while the young people use their mobile phones to respond to the questions, and at the same time listen to the panels` discussion on the best answer, the program can encourage and teach the young people something important.

Trond Eriksen, who has worked with youth throughout his adult life, is the team leader of the pink team. He has prepared several short speeches for the evening. Photo: BCC

We want to give the youth something of value tonight

“I hope everyone gets something new to think about during the evening,” said one member of the panel, Bernt Aksel Larsen. “What we are talking about today is of great value”. He is on stage with Kåre J. Smith and answers some of the questions from the program leader.

The whole hall follows along while different topics are covered, using short films, questions and answers. One of the themes is “Humor at the cost of others”. Several of the answers have reasonable elements, but 94% of the pink team agree that one answer is best.

After the answers have been given, the panel contributes with additional comments, providing deeper knowledge and personal experiences to get the best message across. Photo: BCC

“The most worthless pleasure is pleasure gained at another’s expense,” adds Kåre Smith from the jury panel. “It can be easy when you part of the majority to say something funny about others, and especially about the minority. But we must have respect for everyone and show it,” he says.

Religious education that is relevant in everyday life

It is not every evening that traditional preaching and singing choirs are exchanged for a gameshow and competition in the main hall. iFront evenings however, both at Easter and tonight, have really engaged the young people with interesting topics – relevant to their everyday lives – from the standpoint of our faith.

Christianity develops in everyday life, where the mind can be filled with faith and hope. Small as well as great victories can be attained over destructive things in the life of a young person. The youth in the hall are encouraged to decide to live for Jesus and form good habits so that this life can develop more and more in the coming years.

This is what BCC wants to achieve, and therefore we are investing a lot of resources in developing contests, concepts and television programs that target and inspire youth. The goal is that more of those who have a desire to do as Jesus preached to His disciples can personally share in the faith that He brought to people.

Good atmosphere and an engaged audience, who also got something new to think about during the exciting and educational competition rounds. Photo: BCC