MEMBER PARTICIPATION IN BCC CHURCHES
At meetings and conferences in our church community there is a great deal of member participation. This makes for varied meetings, where we would like both peace and privacy. This article will try to create an understanding for what this mean to us.
By Berit H. Nilsen / Photo by BCC
Our members’ active participation in the church is inspired by Paul’s words to the Corinthians.“How is it then, brothers? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” (1. Corinthians 14:26)
It may be quite different what emerges from our meetings, but the purpose is for everything to help build faith in Jesus Christ, because He brings us together.
How edification takes place at a meeting
There are no paid pastors; it is those with a heart for our cause that contribute with songs, prayer, and testimonies. It is not very typical for participants to plan their speeches, and songs are rarely chosen before the meetings begin. The content is varied and diverse.
Everyone who contributes has the intention to be encouraging and edifying, but of course not everything is perfect. We have experienced leaders who stand at the pulpit and apologize for something wrong they said in their message during the last meeting. We’re all people, and dependent on God’s grace.
Many young people attend our meetings
Children and young people who are BCC members attend regular schools, and the adults work in all kinds of professions in their communities. In our spare time, gathering around our Christian faith is a high point for us. And like many other Norwegians, faith is a personal matter.
Over 30% of our members in Norway are under 18 years old, and many of them are actively involved in church life. We want there to be a low threshold for young people to contribute to edification, and therefore we protect the right to exercise faith in peace.
Youth and adults who in prayer and worship speak praises in Jesus’ name should have room to do this. Therefore, we don’t typically invite the media into our meetings and conferences when actual edification takes place. It is not because we want to be secret or mysterious, but because our members have the right to gather around their faith, both in public and in private.
Good information and transparency are important
We usually have good dialogue with members of the media who contact us with questions regarding our community. Many members are active on social media, sharing frequently the different aspects of church life.
And while we expect to be treated respectfully, we are constantly striving to be open and transparent, not least through everything we share on this site.
In 2020, the local churches in Norway will become more active on their own websites, so information regarding activities, work and finances are readily available to anyone interested in knowing more.
For those who are interested the message we preach in the church, the Bible is our only authoritative reference. Our web page Active Christianity is a great place to start if you would like to read more. There are articles, e-books, film clips and contact information for those who have questions about what they read.