Over the past 15 months, the Bethany Vision group prayerfully considered the advantages and disadvantages of the various aspects of a one year discipleship program, including: staffing, financial stability, governance and location. They engaged in prayer and discernment, conversations (with alumni and church leaders), focus groups (adult and youth), online survey (over 450 responses), and connecting with other schools and programs. The vision group presented 2 options to the Bethany Board on March 19, 2016 and through prayerful deliberation, the vote was unanimous to pursue a “NEW” one year discipleship program on the Hepburn campus for Fall 2017.
The existing facility and campus are providing the fertile soil for the people of Hepburn to dream. Collaborative projects have been quietly building and people are rallying around the idea of taking a promising campus and exploding its potential. Partnerships with the Prairie Spirit School Division and other interested organizations will create a multi-program community campus in Hepburn—in turn, this will provide opportunities for students to engage and interact as part of a broader community. Sharing the campus with other organizations focused on education and community service will also contribute to financial stability for the campus and discipleship program. A significant gifting from a foundation has nurtured the germination of this idea.
The Saskatchewan Mennonite Brethren Conference met in March 2015 on Bethany College’s campus, with a focus on John 12:24. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” The SKMB Developmental Leadership Team (DLT) – focusing discipleship and leadership development initiatives in our province-celebrates new signs of life in the area of young adult discipleship which are emerging on several fronts within the province. This team is working prayerfully towards collaboration among the various initiatives that will lead to a new vitality and depth of discipleship and programming within and amongst our Saskatchewan churches.
The Bethany Board is beginning to see some of the new growth that is sprouting as a result of the Bethany seed that was sown. There are exciting steps being taken to carve new frontiers in discipleship training in an 8 month modular program supporting and extending the efforts of the church that feeds Head, Heart and Hands. The vision starts with a discipleship extension program, working with our churches to disciple and mentor young people in preparation of sending them, for a season, to immerse themselves in a journey of discovery, development and service. The students will experience mentorship by staff that will walk alongside them in each component of living in community, of sharing the basic routines and rhythms of life, learning together, serving together, and experiencing a range of cultural realities. Our mission is forming whole and holy disciples.
More details of the program and campus will unfold as we grow the one year discipleship program in anticipation of Fall 2017 launch.
Please stay connected with Bethany through our website http://bethany.sk.ca/ or our Facebook pages (Bethany College Alumni and Bethany College). Speak into the lives of young people. Pray for a program leader and staff mentors as well as the program/campus development. As we transition to an operational board structure, pray for strong leaders to join the team.
“How blessed is God! And what a blessing He is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in Him. Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love”. Ephesians 1:3-5