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NEW Parent Tool!

At EPIC Student Ministry we are always trying to find ways to better connect with parents and families. And we are SUPER DUPER PUMPED about a new resource aimed at encouraging intentional, God-centered discussion in homes each week. We are calling it the EPIC Rewind and it is a brief recap of what was taught at the weekend EPIC services along with discussion questions and the corresponding scripture. We are excited because the ‘Rewind’ is so simple that it can be discussed anywhere; from the dinner table, to the couch or even in the car. We truly hope and pray that this becomes a integral part of the weekly discussions in the homes of EPIC families!!  Enjoy!

To see the first week click HERE 


-Rob Jr.

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Praying Parents; Before, During and After Camp SWO

 

 

We are just days away from Epic Summer Camp SWO and we are so excited and expectant to see what God is going to do in the lives or our students. As parents I’m sure it must stink to be left behind as your student gets the opportunity to engage in the incredible adventure that is CAMP! But we at EPIC we thinking of you this week and we have created for you a Prayer Challenge for you.

Here is the Before, During and After camp Prayer Challenge:

Before Camp Epic:

1. Ask God to prepare your Student’s heart for what will happen to him/her at camp.
2. Ask God to reveal to your Student the importance of this week both spiritually and relationally.
3. Feel free to let your Student know that you are praying for them and looking forward to hearing what God does when they return.

During Camp Epic:

1. The key to praying for our Students at camp is according to the schedule.  If we are eating, pray for social walls to come down and new friendships to be made. If we are out on a high adventure excursion pray for the safety and excitement of our students. And finally, if we are in a service, pray that God will hit hard the hearts of our Students. You can view the 2012 SWO schedule here: SWO12 Schedule

2. Pray for our travel both to and from camp – it’s long trip to Andrews, NC and with two buses and two vans full of teenagers it can seem even longer – pray for safe travel but also for patience and wisdom for all our volunteer leaders.

After Camp Epic:

This is perhaps the most crucial time to pray for your Student. Often, students are challenged and recharged with a renewed sense of devotion and love for Christ while at camp. And though these commitments are made, and new levels of spiritual growth are attained at camp, unfortunately, soon after, the ‘mountain top’ experience wears off; and our students can feel as though they are back in the valley. Pray that our students will stay connected to God long after the week of Camp is over. Pray that our students will see and understand that it’s not that the decisions made at camp are changing their lives but rather, changing their direction – and it is a path that continues all their lives – even into school, home and personal lives. Parents, you will play and integral part in helping your student understand more fully what God has done in their lives at Camp SWO!

Pray that Camp Epic will be the means to the end of growing closer to Christ not the end in itself.

Here are some verses for you to pray through:

“All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace.” Isaiah 54:13
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
“Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1

-Rob Jr.

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Communication and Connection

Connecting and communication with parents in Student Ministry can, at times be challenging; and at other times might be the worst part of Student Ministry.  Communicating with parents can be so difficult but we also know it is so crucial for the effectiveness of any Student Ministry.  In our ministry context we truly believe that we will only be as effective at ministering and disciplining students as we are efficient at connecting with parents.  Parent communication is directly linked to student spiritual growth.  We have attempted many different modes of communication with parents; snail mail, email, phone calls (from an actual hardline), newsletters, text messages, even smoke signals (not really, but it’d be worth a shot)!   Some of these work, most don’t.  However, over the last year we have begun to focus on two major modes of communication and we are beginning to see some actual results; Text messaging and a monthly newsletter both mailed and emailed.

The text service we use is Simply Text.  It is cheap and effective, the challenge has been getting parents to sign up to receive the text.  The email service we use is Constant Contact.  We have also been experimenting with some of the new TOOLS that Simply Youth Ministry has recently released.

Though none of these communication strategies is all encompassing for a variety of reasons, text messaging is working better than we hoped.  How do you communicate with parents? Have you found there to be some modes that are more efficient at communication than others?  Please comment and share; we’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Rob Jr.

 

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Camp Part 2 (of three)

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So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? (Galatians 4: 7-9 ESV)

These are the fundamental verses for camp this year! What incredible verse they are!? We are no longer slaves to sin but bought at a price to be loved by God and used by him. This is one of the fundamental truths of Christianity- and our students are beginning to mentally digest this truth in big ways. Students are realizing that they have the power of God in them to overcome sin, to serve beyond themselves, to overcome adversity and past hurt. Students are being healed by this truth- AND IT IS AWESOME TO SEE!!

This morning I had the privilege of taking a few students up to the prayer chapel to pray and spend some time reading God’s word before the the day started. In this chapel students spread out, praying and reading. As we entered, we removed our shoes and prayed for soft hearts and willing ears- when we got inside I was so encouraged as I saw at least 5 other Epic students in the chapel already praying, journaling and connecting with God. And remember this is the 4th day of camp at 7:30AM. One of the stations in the chapel is a station where you are challenged to write down the biggest sin obstacle in your life that keeps you from growing closer to God- but then you can trace a cross over the word you’ve written and then there is a stamp that you can press over the word that reads, PAID IN FULL.(I put a picture below) I watched as a a few of our students worked through the exercise and then they posted their index cards on a monstrous wall full of other students index cards- it was a neat site to see; our students admitting their sins but knowing they are not alone in their struggles.

Today we will continue to challenged with our morning services and breakout sessions. Then tonight we have the Revelation skit- where the camp enacts in graphic detail the return of Christ – I can’t wait to see it!

Today’s prayer list:
1. Pray for relationships being formed between leaders and students will continue to grow and now produce the fruit of students being challenged to make decisions in their faith journey.
2. Pray that the Revelation Skit will connect and convict students tonight
3. Pray that our hearts will stay open to whatever God may be doing at anytime at any place

Hope you like pics.

-Rob

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