Our team of writers are currently working on articulating this incredibly important part of what makes Bearspaw Christian School the place where history-making-world-changers are made! Stay Tuned. In the meantime here's an update on what's going on at Bearspaw Christian School right now...
Discipleship is... Looking Up!
Exciting things are happening at BCS and we want you to know about them!
The goal of the discipleship program at BCS is to create an environment where students will become deeply rooted in a life of following and remaining in Christ. It’s about preparing them for a lifetime of knowing, loving and serving Jesus. Thank-you for allowing us to partner with your family for the growth of this amazing generation of young people and for the Glory of God. It’s a privilege!
Dean of Discipleship
Elementary Students Committed to Serving
Each of the elementary classes has rallied around a ministry venture that allows them to touch their world in Jesus’ name. The projects are diverse and involve things like Grade Two students decorating lunch bags that will be used for meals being distributed at Inn From the Cold; Junior Kindergarten students decorating cupcakes and wrapping cutlery for dinners for the homeless; Grade 5 students sponsoring Compassion children and preparing layettes for distribution in Guatemala by the Grade 11 students on their mission trip; the Grade 4 class getting sponsors for the book reading they are doing and donating the money to Bible translation and literacy programs with the Wycliffe Bible Translators, to mention just a few. It’s a privilege to help these youngsters discover the joy of serving .
One of the highlights of the Elementary Chapel schedule is the monthly “sharing” chapels where students are given the opportunity to share with the whole school the things they are learning in their spiritual journeys. They come well prepared to show and tell their peers what God is doing in their lives. What an important habit for these students to develop in a caring community that is excited for their growth.
Elementary Bible Curriculum
Discipleship in the Elementary School is marked by practical application-based teaching and enthusiastic participation by students.
A Gift Giving God - Invites students into a relationship with a God who is generous and loving so that children will see Him as a Father who cares deeply and finds His greatest joy in caring for his sons and daughters.
God‟s Amazing Family - Helps students understand what it means to live in community, to love one another and to serve one another as fellow - family members. We are brothers and sisters - each unique, and yet each crucial to God's master plan.
A Place to Belong - Gives students an understanding of where each person fits in, celebrating differences and learning what it means to contribute to our own family and to our church and school.
Heroes of Faith - An overview of the key characters in Scripture and lessons from their lives. This is the year students learn the beloved Bible Stories that shape their faith in practical ways.
Learning to Serve - Students are called to use their gifts and abilities to make a difference in their world. Serving one another, serving the poor and serving their neighbours (as defined by Scripture) makes this a year of thinking about the difference Jesus makes in everyday living.
Foundations of Faith - A simple overview of theological foundations teaching students about the nature of God, the problem of sin and the gift of salvation. This material answers many of the basic questions and provides a key starting point for helping students begin to make their faith personal.
The Good News of Jesus - This study of the life of Christ introduces students to the character of Jesus by exploring his interactions with people and his teaching throughout parables and sermons. The intended outcome is for them to develop a deep and personal love for Christ.
Secondary Students Committed to Authenticity
Encounter (the hour formerly known as Secondary Chapel)
On the advice of students, the name of chapel has been changed to “Encounter” because as they see it, “the whole point of it is to encounter Jesus.” Student led worship continues to be a highlight with several teachers and staff doing an outstanding job of mentoring our young and gifted worship leaders. The chapel planning committee had to be capped at 21 students, but ideas are coming from throughout the student body for ways to bring even more life and relevance to this important community time for our secondary students. A group of BCS students recently traveled to Saskatchewan to meet with the chapel leadership at Caronport High School so that both schools could learn from each other. Encounters happen Wednesday morning and you are more than welcome to join us to see it for yourself.
CrossTalk Small Groups Launched this Fall.
Once every week, the textbooks are laid aside, seats are moved from rows to circles group sizes shrink, office workers shut down their computers, and staff, alumni volunteers and teachers turn into shepherds as they guide our student small groups in a time of relational connecting, accountability, Bible study and prayer together. The Bible studies are entitled “A Word to the Wise” and are based in the book of Proverbs providing participants with practical advice for living biblically. We are excited to see how this new initiative will break down walls and build community as students and staff learn together.
Partnering with Your Local Church
We recently invited youth pastors from a number of churches attended by BCS families to join us for lunch here on the campus so we could explore ways to work more closely together. There is always the danger of overlap and the last thing we want to do as a school is to compete with your church. Several significant outcomes of this meeting have already been implemented. We are strongly encouraging students who are looking for a context in which to do their "service hours" to look to their local church first. We also encouraged church leaders to provide mentoring for those students seeking to serve under their leadership. Furthermore, we have invited the youth pastors of the community to feel an enormous freedom to come to the campus to meet with their students, to participate in Encounter, and to be part of the discipleship emphasis here at BCS. We look forward to these partnerships becoming even stronger in the years ahead. Imagine the home, the church, and the school working in harmony for the spiritual well-being of the next generation! How cool could that be?
Because the High School has moved into the MPF it was necessary to relocate the offices of Jocelyn Freeman and Phil Morrow who give day to day leadership to the many facets of discipleship that happen at BCS. A very inviting office has been built right in the middle of everything that happens with the High School students and it provides a constant “pastoral” presence for students who need to talk through issues or just hang out with a couple of gifted leaders who love nothing more than being with students.
Secondary Division Bible Curriculum Master Plan
A lot of hard work is going into the development and implementation of an intentional and proactive curricular plan that will invite students in the secondary division on a six-year journey to spiritual maturity. Each of the years is being built around a specific developmentally appropriate theological theme and the overall package will give students the opportunity to explore the full range of what it means to walk with Jesus for the long haul. Several grades are already beta-testing teaching units that will become part of the final product. Rebuilding a curriculum from the ground up is a massive undertaking, and we are so grateful for teachers who are willing to test and adapt material and resources as we refine this teaching package.
The biggest challenge, of course is to recognize the danger of "compartmentalizing" the faith-based part of the day and communicating to students that Bible is just another subject on their timetable. We are attempting to create a discipleship strategy that integrates faith into every moment of every day by ensuring that what happens in Bible class connects to life at every level. Please continue to pray as the building of this valuable resource takes place.
One of the best ways to communicate that faith is not simply a compartment of our lives is to have a teaching staff who are committed to naturally integrating theological thoughtfulness and a biblical worldview into the teaching of every subject. The level of intentionality with which this is happening at BCS this year is most encouraging. Teachers are looking for new and creative ways to weave spiritual truth into their English, history, math, social studies, and other courses and the outcome has been great conversations, both in and out of the classroom. Please feel free to explore with your sons and daughters the way this is happening in their classes, and I'm sure you will be encouraged to look for ways to seamlessly integrate faith into your everyday life.
Students Taking Initiative
One of the great joys of working with children and young people is to see them take responsibility for their own spiritual growth and investing in the culture of the faith communities that they are part of. BCS students are taking the lead in some exciting ways as the faith culture of this campus is being shaped. Student prayer groups have formed, student led Bible studies are springing up, afterschool discussions about theological and biblical questions are taking place both formally and informally, older students are mentoring younger students, students are serving in their local churches and inviting their peers to do the same. We even have a couple of lunch time prayer groups that elementary students are participating in.