Volunteering as an important cornerstone

With big plans for the future, our members are the key to achieving our goals, and therefore reliable information is needed. Read how effort and sustainability must be ensured, both now - and for the next generation.

Since the BCC Federation was constituted barely a year ago, work has been done on long-term strategies for the development of the church. The federation is the common platform that provides the church with the necessary organization to accomplish as much as we can of the task given to us – namely to carry out the Great Commission.

Saturday’s broadcast from the Magazine was about sustainability. The viewers heard about how the church, despite the difficult times in the world, will work effectively to achieve our purpose, and ensure that the next generation can also have excellent opportunities to pursue Christian activities.

For this to succeed, there are three things in particular that we now want to focus on, specifically voluntary efforts, the donation model, and contracts for accommodation during BCC’s conferences.

A new concept on volunteering

Volunteering has been a cornerstone of the church since the beginning. Now a new initiative is being launched that will increase diversity, creativity, and renewal at conferences, and raise church activity to completely new levels.

2022 is the “Year of Volunteering” in Norway, where the aim is, among other things, to lower the threshold for participation, and to get as many people as possible into volunteering. In the year that is about to end, members have experienced how the local churches have together created unique conference programs for the joy of the church, and the good experiences will be taken into account in the further planning.

One of the guests in the broadcast was Kåre J. Smith, who pointed that when as many people as possible contribute according to what they can, and want to, whether it is with time, creativity or money, the church will flourish and have the power to do the works Jesus wants us to do.

He inspired the viewers to always have a connection with the head – Christ – and let the Holy Spirit be the guiding light in the life of each individual:

“By the power of the Holy Spirit you get a desire to live for God, thus your gifts also come forth in the church unto great blessing, and it helps us to become far more creative than before.”

Peter Tischhauser, manager of BCC Event, elaborated on how work is done by mapping volunteer tasks, and finding skills people can contribute with and find interesting.

Motivation and training are important factors, and Tischhauser announced that next year a “volunteering symposium” will be organized to support the development of voluntary work.

The donation model moves forward

Two representatives from a voluntary task force of the new international donation model gave a status report on the introduction of the donations’ project.

November is an important month in the process because it is the first time that all members and fellow believers throughout the world have to submit a letter of intent for how much they will donate to finance their local church’s budget for 2023.

The letters of intent provide the framework for the local church’s budgets. This autumn, the voluntary task force working with this is planning to follow up and help to make the process as good as possible for the local churches:

“We have received many questions. There are a lot of new things which can be difficult to grasp, but we are experiencing excitement and a desire locally to be able to communicate this in the best possible way to the local church”, said Mette Johnsen, head of the task force.

It was communicated clearly, and everyone was encouraged to follow the percentage that is adopted in local annual meetings. It is important for the model to function as intended, as it contributes to a sustainable economy, and creates consistency both for the donor and for the local church that receives the donations.

What is the donation model?

  • A system of making donations for members over 26 years of age
  • The target group annually gives a percentage of their gross income. This covers all costs in the local church. Accommodation at the conferences is paid for privately.
  • The percentage is determined by the annual meeting of the individual local church, at a maximum of 10%
We find that those with local responsibility are passionate about the project and want to convey it as best as possible in their local church, says Mette K. Johnsen, who heads the task force for the donation model. Photo: BCC

Measures for the next generation

The motivation behind the continual development is not only for the present, but also to secure a future for all those who are now children and young people, but who in adulthood will help build the church further.

Part of this involves giving young people the opportunity to save for their future accommodation at BCC’s conferences through Samvirk (a cooperative owned by its members). This currently applies to young people between the ages of 18-26, the age group that are not included in the donation model. By saving up in this way for future accommodations at the conference center, the young people become part of a tradition where BCC members for several generations have invested heavily to ensure the opportunity to gather around their faith.

The project also includes friendly competition. Young people in different local churches inspire and motivate each other in saving and working for this. Photo: BCC
The magazine ended with a featured song. Photo: BCC