Confirmation usually takes place in the month of May. At churches throughout the country, thousands of teenagers have been going to confirmation classes and learning about Christianity. BCC also provides instruction for this age group, followed by a recognition banquet for the young people and their entire local church.
By Espen Larsen – Photos by Jakob Leth
In the state church, confirmation is an affirmation of baptism. We do not practice infant baptism in BCC. However, teaching young people about Christianity allows them the opportunity to choose a direction for their lives, which is for all practical purposes the same in BCC as in other faith-based organizations. Therefore, all the local churches conduct bible studies as an alternative to confirmation classes.
Celebrating with the whole church
BCC’s local church in Sandefjord organized a banquet for ten young people, ages 14-15, to celebrate the conclusion of six months of Bible studies.
This is a meaningful day for both the young people and their families and is in many ways comparable to confirmation. The entire church participates. The church’s meeting hall outside Sandefjord is decorated for a celebration with table set in the middle for the ten guests of honor.
The program, menu, and remarks are all tailored to the young people on this occasion, who receive good words and encouragement from youth workers and other caring individuals.
The banquet is a mixture of seriousness, joy, and fun for the honored guests, who each receive recognition and best wishes for their future endeavors. Photo: BCC
Something to look forward to at each weekly session
During the 18 sessions beginning in November, the class has covered 12 topics from the Bible that provide an introduction to BCC’s core teachings. The young people learn about personal salvation, love, and the opportunities Jesus gives to each one of us who believe in Him.
Liv Margrethe Kronstad (33) is one of three adults who are responsible for Bible instruction in BCC Sandefjord. The young people have impressed her as dedicated: “they look forward to every session”, she explains.
“They reflect on things and demonstrate that they want to understand as much as possible. We often work in small groups, which makes it easier to have conversations where they can be open about what they think and believe.”
Liv Margrethe Kronstad is in charge of Bible instruction in Sandefjord, together with two other leaders. Photo: BCC
A variety of engaging exercises
She relates how they use various activities to capture the young people’s interest, such as problem-solving, casework, film, competitions, and visualization of words and concepts. The point is to make it easy to participate and more natural to speak about one’s faith.
Tommy (14), one of the students in this year’s group, is excited about the instruction he has received.
“I thought it was really fun to be at Bible study every Wednesday. It was exciting to visit the different mentors, learn about various topics, and experience fun things.”
Rewarding for both students and teachers
For Liv Margrethe Kronstad, it has been rewarding to work with Bible instruction for the young people.
“Bible studies are great avenue for becoming better acquainted with the younger ones, and to speak about our faith and our values in a natural way. Working with this has made me more conscious of my own faith during the day.”
New knowledge, good memories
The banquet in Sandefjord is a significant event for the ten young people. The Bible study leaders thanked the group for the time spent together. Each member of the group had chosen an older youth who knew them a little better to give a short message and some good words to them personally. After this, several from the group expressed thankfulness for the Bible instruction and time spent together.
Several of the Bible students express their thankfulness after receiving a warm congratulations from the church. Photo: BCC
Tommy is thankful for what he has experienced. “I gained a lot of knowledge, but more importantly, the Bible has become an open book for me.” He feels that it has become easier to make good choices, and that the time he spent studying the Bible is a foundation he will continue to build on – long after this celebration.
Bible study students and instructors have become well acquainted over the past half year. Here the class sings an original song with a bit of humor thrown in. Photo: BCC
The young people in the local church conclude the feast with a group song. Photo: BCC