In 1898 young Johan Oscar Smith was converted to God and this is considered the beginning of Brunstad Christian Church. Founded on the Bible, the church has proven itself viable for more than 120 years, especially renewing itself during the latter 25 years.
This article was first published in the BCC annual report for 2018. Read the annual report here.
The history of the church covers a relatively short period in the two thousand years of Christianity. Nevertheless, the past 120 years have shown that our church is viable, having grown from a small group of believers to an international community.
We work to fulfil the mission that Jesus asked as to fulfil, namely to make it possible for people of all nations to become disciples, and for those who desire it, teach how to observe all that Jesus taught us. In this way we have, from the beginning, considered the Great Commission to be our main task.
From an unorganized group of friends to a formal registered church
For several decades the church was an unorganized group of friends. Nobody counted themselves as members, but referred to themselves as “friends”, and there was no formal organization, and no employees.
Like all other growing organizations, structure evolved in accordance with a more complex and regulated society. This caused BCC to choose to formalize bylaws and organizational structure, which secured what the church’s mission should be, but also guidelines for practical areas such boards, voluntary work, accounting, auditing, and ownership of property.
The first bylaws were drawn up during a meeting of representatives on January 1st, 1993. In 2003, the association was formally registered as a church in Norway. However, with its origin being Johan O. Smith’s conversion in May 1898, the church is considered to have existed since then.
Renewal in the work for children and youth
Over the past 25 years, the church has experienced a considerable development in several areas. We have had an extraordinary focus on working for our children and youth, we have had fundraising drives that have made it possible for us to finance what we are passionate about, and we have started using tools and technology that have made It possible to reach far more people than we could before.
Today BCC has become a workplace with numerous employees, but continues without paid clergy, and all pastoral work is carried out on a volunteer basis.
Preaching that guides to personal christianity
BCC’s international conferences and youth events held several times per year are a central part of our missionary work, where the message leads individuals to a personal life with Christ. Church members from countries with lower purchasing power are given financial assistance to attend some of the conferences. In this way the community supports one another in the good the Christian tradition.
The message og BCC has been spread to over 50 nations
120 years after Johan O. Smith’s conversion, the fellowship that emerged from the effect of his life and ministry has grown into a Christian church with approximately 8,200 members in Norway alone. In addition, the church is active in over 50 countries.
We do not know what the future will bring, but we do know that Jesus’ doctrine is the foundation the church will build on into the future. This message transforms lives, and we work so that both children, young people and adults can experience a good and healthy development in our church.