A New Year celebration as a digital church
Yet once more the BCC New Year’s conference had to be cancelled, but yet again our digital investment made it possible for churches across the whole world to gather for fellowship and faith building online. There were three days of broadcasts with rich content.
By Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by Andreas Lehmann
In BCC the international conferences are noteworthy days, in which faith is nourished and fellowship is strengthened. Nationality, language, age, and culture have no input when the gospel is preached. It is for everyone who wants to hear and learn to live according to the message that Jesus came with.
During the BCC conferences, the friends from all over the world contribute with songs, messages, and personal testimonies. It is both comforting and inspiring to hear and see others who are living for the gospel; to see the common desire to partake of more of the life Jesus invites us to live.
Even though it has been a great loss to not be able to gather throughout the pandemic, technology has also shown us that we don’t have to be in the same physical location in order to have fellowship with each other. Over the last years we’ve been stirred and edified by people and churches in many countries and corners of the world, maybe to an even great degree than before, and there are great expectations for opportunities to open up so we can meet physically again.
Viewers in 56 countries watched the New Year broadcasts
The New Year transmissions in BCC hit the airwaves on December 30, with three online-broadcasts over three days. The spirit of celebration and expectation was huge as elder Kåre J. Smith welcomed everyone to the first transmission. His greeting to us was that we are entering a new year, which will become a year of grace for all of us.
Over the following days, the viewers got to hear rich messages from both Smith and many others, a gratitude inspiring year-in-review film, and live elements from friends from North America, Africa, and Europe. Viewers from all 56 countries watched the broadcasts this New Year’s weekend.
BCC Media did a tremendous job of pulling together the online event at such short notice, via two separate TV studios in Sandefjord and Nordre Follo, Norway. Johannes Schmechel, as the leader of the media operation, told us that it took a bit to make everything fall into place:
“We’ve had both employees and key people among our volunteers who were in quarantine shortly before they were to produce completely original broadcasts. But even though it was a bit hectic offstage, it’s amazing how God has blessed the whole thing, so that it functioned well.”
Celebration, fellowship, and faith for the future permeated the year’s final online conference (swipe to see more pictures). Photo: BCC Media
A new year of possibilities
Even though there are great expectations for the society to open up again, the pandemic has been a period of growth and development in BCC, and the international church has been knit together in completely new ways. Bit by bit we’re seeing the contours of how the church is developing on digital levels. There are many who are thankful for the vision which led to the media operation in BCC being so quickly mobilized as the corona pandemic closed the world down, almost two years ago.
Johannes Schmechel points out a Bible verse which has comforted many throughout this time, and comes with an encouragement:
“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, so I believe that this time is an assignment from God, which we Christians have to grab on to. It shouldn’t be a waiting period, but a period of development. But that needs people who take the assignment seriously, and make it work out for the best. In the long run, I actually believe that we’ll see that this has been the best thing that could have happened, and a help in carrying out Jesus’ Great Commission to all people.”