We believe we exist to enjoy and glorify God. We love to have fun at Bethany Student Ministriess, but we have fun that is filled with purpose. We are not a ministry that runs events for the sake of simply occupying students. We run events to reflect God's love, to teach about him and his Good News, and to gloriy him, while having fun. We want our speech, our lives and how we love others to reflect God and be a witness for him. Therefore we will strive to have JOY - by putting Jesus first, others second and ourselves third.
We believe that everyone matters. Because every person is made in God's image, that means He knows who they are and He loves them. It means that He sent his son to die for them, and sees them as infinitely valuable and precious. If he sees each person that way, then we need to see them that way too. So regardless of size, age, colour, gender, body odor or odd behaviour, every person matters and needs to be treated with dignity. Every person should have the opportunity to hear about their Maker, how much he loves them, and to what extent he has already gone to reconnect with them.
We believe in being a safe space. Because every student who walks through that door matters, we want them to feel safe and welcome. Bethany Student Ministries needs to be a place they can call their own; a place where they want to return. Therefore, no bullying on social media or otherwise will be tolerated. This will be a space where confidentiality will be respected as long as by doing so does not put that student in danger or cause them harm. We want this to be a space where every student can ask tough questions about faith and life in general, without fear of judgment or pat answers.
We believe in being a discipling ministry. Our great mission, given by Jesus, was to go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them all about what God has taught us to do and be as his people. Disciples make disciples; so in all we do, we seek to walk with students and help form them into disciples of Christ and then disciplers of others. We create opportunities for learning, worshipping, participating in spiritual disciplines and service to others. Most of our students who are regular churchgoers are serving in children's ministry, in the hospitality ministry or on the audiovisual team for Sunday mornings.
We highly value small groups as being part of our ministry. We see the value of small group ministry, and seek to make use of it in discipleship and in fostering friendships amongst the students. Jesus modeled it with his disciples. Therefore, our ministry will attempt to model it and use this method as well. The youth leaders are mentored by the Youth Pastor as a small group. They learn, study, pray, play and eat together. Then the youth leaders mentor their specific small group in the youth ministry, ideally walking with with them for as long as possible throughout their years in youth group. Small groups can happen as discussion time, game time (sometimes), hang out time, confession time, prayer time, support time, etc.
We believe in being a people of prayer and of the book. We are on a journey of learning God's Story and how we fit into that story. We believe God's word to be true and worthy of study. We believe it is living and active and therefore speaks to our lives and how to live them. We also believe that God speaks and listens to us. We will strive to be a people of prayer even though we don't fully understand how it works, trusting the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to teach us. We will explore ways to express oursevles to God and ways to listen to him.