MISHAWAKA, IND.— Everyone knows about the recent change in chapel life, but not everyone knows why. The reasons behind the change, according to Dr. Shawn Holtgren, all lead to the question, “What is ultimately best for our students?”
Small groups provide a way for students to be personally challenged in their walk with God. There is a good variety of small group options available to students, and it stems from the desire for students to grow more spiritually. This differs from what one can normally get out of chapel.This change has been considered for many years, and has discussed and prayed about by many faculty members and even some students. It is an experiment, and there will definitely be surveys and questionnaires sent out to the student body throughout the course of the year, as there have been already. At the end of the year the results of the transition will be evaluated and contemplated for the future. Nothing is set-in-stone, and there may be slight tweaks and changes in the near future, depending on the current progress in chapel life and small groups. “There is something unique about a small group experience where we can go deeper and there is more opportunity for discussion, dialogue, and intimacy,” said Holtgren, “We are not eliminating a chapel, we are creating an opportunity.” They are hoping for 2 results from this transition: 1) That students are appreciating the variety of options, locations, and times that they can get out of this change, and 2)That there is an effectiveness seen working in students’ lives that was not there before. This is not the first time Bethel has had a transition like this put into motion. Hopefully, this will produce great results and create a stronger and more spiritually invested community here at Bethel.