Mennonite Education and Incarnation
by Michael Sherer
“And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus came to us in the flesh and modeled what it meant to live as a follower of God–to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. While on this earth, one of his most enduring acts was to call disciples and train them in what God requires and what it means to live in the Kingdom.
Anabaptists too, have emphasized discipleship throughout our 500 year history. I believe that’s why Mennonite’s have valued education so highly through the years. If you have any doubt about this, look at the column on the left and be amazed at the breadth of Mennonite educational institutions. Teaching is incarnational. It is not just the simple conveying of knowledge, but rather the modeling of what it means to thirst after knowledge and wisdom and righteousness. To love and to serve. To embody both excellence and compassion.
These institutions have little meaning apart from the Mennonite church, and the church would be impoverished without them if they were to disappear. We live in an era of diminished loyalties, but I challenge the church to recommit itself to its schools and for the schools to always keep in mind the primacy of that church-school relationship. Together we can raise up the next generation of church members and leaders–the kind of people the church and world sorely need.
Our congregation supports students to attend Bethany each year. Bethany Christian Schools is a private school for grades 4-12 with about 280 students. The high school was founded in 1954, expanded to include a middle school in 1996, and added elementary grades 4-5 in 2011. Bethany provides an education with learning that lasts and faith that lives.