Wednesday, August 31, 2011

School lunches Pt. 2

Every week we visit students at their school lunches, here is our strategy:

1.  The very first thing we do is we get permission from the school administration to visit our students at their lunch.  If we don't get permission we don't visit those school lunches.  We want to get on campuses but not hurt a relationship with a school or leave a bad taste in their mouth.

2.  We go to lunches on Tuesday and Wednesday because those are the closest days to our Wednesday Night Youth Experience.  This helps keep Epic fresh on our students and their friends minds.

3.  We go to lunches of students that want us to come!  There is nothing worse then going to a school lunch and get brushed off or ignored by students because they may be embarrassed or too cool for school.  We don't force it, we just find the students that want us to come and we go!

4.  We let those students know ahead of time that we are coming so they look for us.  This helps us not wander around a lunch looking lost.  That can be a very uncomfortable feeling.

5.  We don't preach at students or push our youth ministry on them.  We are there to build relationships and the only time we hand out invite cards is if we have permission from the school.

6.  We go to many different school lunches but we visit the lunches that have a majority of our students in them.  We want to see as many of our students as possible so it's great to hit up a lunch where the entire time we are walking around connecting with multiple Epic students and their friends!

7.  We go to school lunches right away, currently we have already hit up over 8 schools.  The school year is the greatest time for growth so we don't waste anytime getting on our students turf.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Recap

We had another great Sunday at Epic Jr. High!  Here are some of the highlights and other tidbits from the weekend:

1.  We had 66 students at our MWC campus and 111 at our OKC campus!

2.  We had 28 students commit their lives to Christ and 10 students attended our Launch group for new believers!

3.  2 more students completed our Launch group!

4.  Sunday night I had my youth staff at my house and we had an awesome time of food, fellowship and fun.  I love the team I work with and being able to connect with them both professionally and personally!  God has put a tremendous team around me that He is going to use to reach thousands of students in OKC.  One random thing I did was ask everyone if I gave them a round trip ticket to anywhere in the world where would they go and why?  The places mentioned were Italy, Tokyo, Africa, France, Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, Switzerland, Australia and Israel.

5.  Saturday I had my first fantasy draft, it's a dynasty league where you sign players to contracts, have a salary cap and just draft rookies.  It's pretty intense but I finally feel like I have a team that can win it all!  I've been last and 2nd to last the previous 2 years.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

School lunches - Go to them!

School is back in session which means me and my staff are visiting school lunches every week.  We normally go on Tues and Wed and it's always produces results.  This Wed we saw a lot of students that have been missing this summer and most of them we connected with at lunch this week.  Visiting lunches has played a big part in our growth, I not only see more students on Wed when we go but I see a drop in students when we don't go.  If you are a youth pastor and not going to school lunches I strongly encourage you to start going!  If you are wondering why we go on Tues and Wed it's simply because it's the two closest days to Wed night and keeps Epic fresh on our students mind.  I'll post more in the next couple days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What I share in my fall leaders meeting.

Every August I have a meeting with all of our youth leaders to get ready for the fall.  The fall is our busiest season and where we have seen the most growth in our youth ministry.  Here are some things I go over in our meeting:

1.  We eat good food!  It's always nice to break bread with those we are serving with every week.

2.  I thank my leaders for their commitment and investment in our students.  Without them Epic would be a mess.  They are the backbone of our ministry.  I'm humbled and honored to serve with all of them.

3.  I cast vision and remind my leaders that everything we do is for more life change.  Our students deserve the very best and we are going to storm the gates of hell to win as many students to Christ as possible.  We may even get burned doing it but it's worth it when one life is changed.

4.  We go over details of our fall outreach, I want all of our leaders to be on the same page and know the details of what we are doing.  I also give some overview for the rest of the year as well.

5.  The summer can get pretty crazy with people on vacation and so I use this time to remind everyone how important it is that we need them at Epic every Wed and on time.  I'll also address any other housekeeping items we may need to tidy up like changes to our structure, new ministries, changes to team leaders and other stuff like that.

6.  I always use every meeting we do to encourage our leaders to help us recruit more leaders.  They are one of our best resources to recruiting new leaders to serve in our ministry.  Most of leaders that serve were invited by one of our current leaders.

7.  We share testimonies of life change.

8. At the end we give our ministry teams a time to meet about any issues the need to discuss.

The structure of our meeting is eat and fellowship first for about 20-30 min, I cover my stuff in 45 min - 1 hour and then we have time at the end for testimonies or breaking into our teams for about 15-20 min.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Recap

1.  This Sunday was the Grand Opening of People's Church Midwest City campus and the turnout was amazing.  1280 people showed up and 65 people committed their lives to Christ!  At Epic Jr. High we had 52 students and 13 students committed their lives to Christ!  It's amazing to see what God is doing at People's Church and this is just the beginning!

2.  With the amazing turnout at our MWC campus next week we are launching a 3rd experience!  Experience times are 10 am, 11:30 am and 1 pm, we will also have Epic Jr. High for all 3 of these experiences!

3.  I'm not much of a movie goer because it's expensive and I don't want to waste my money on a movie I won't enjoy but this weekend Jamie and I went with some of our youth leaders to see Rise of the Apes.  Many people said it was good and they were correct!  Great movie, I totally recommend it!

4.  We went to the movie at Harkins Theater in Bricktown and found out they have a kid's zone you can take your kids (3-8 years old) to for only $6!!!  We will definitely be hooking that up next time!

5.  Friday night we had our young adults community group.  We had a great night of food, fellowship and many random conversations.  I love doing life with these people, if you aren't in a community group join one today!  Check out what groups are close to you on

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wed Recap - Historic Day for Epic

Epic made history on Wed night by having our first experience at our new Midwest City Campus.  It was a great feeling to send Arjay Johnson our MWC Youth Director, over 20 leaders and over 80 students to this campus to reach and impact many more teenagers.  This all happened before our Grand Opening which gives us a great base to build off of.  Throughout youth ministry I've prayed for God to enlarge our territory  and I'm literally experiencing at a whole new level as People's Church is now a multi site church.  I'm excited for the adventure, the challenge and all the lives we are going to see impacted.  I love my church, our student ministry and am excited about the future.  This will be a greatest fall to date!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What we do for our 1st time guests on Wed night at Epic

Every Wed night our first time guests get a wristband which get's them into our VIP section after our experience.  The VIP section is open from 8:15-8:30 and features couches, music, our most popular video games, a free treat and an opportunity to meet our youth directors.  Last month we gave away free bottled sodas like IBC Root Beer, Cream Soda, Strawberry and Grape Crush.  This month we are giving away snack cakes like fudge rounds, oatmeal creme pies and zebra cakes!  The zebra cakes are my favorite!  Not only do our first time guests get to come into the VIP section but the student that brought them also gets to come with them.  At Epic our guests and anybody who brings a guest get VIP treatment.  This has been a nice little incentive to get new guests.  FYI - I totally stole this idea from Oneighty and it has worked very well for us!  Here is a little video we made to promote it.

Epic VIP Room from Epic Student Ministries on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Launch - A 4 Week New Believers Group Pt. 2

Again I'm super stoked about the new believers group we just started called Launch.  This group is to help students Launch into the relationship with Christ and soar instead of crash.  Here is a brief overview of what we teach at each week of Launch:

Week 1: Understanding Jesus as Savior - this is a teaching that has helped students understand their salvation and that they don't have to raise their hands every week to get saved.  This has been huge for our students!

Week 2: Understanding Jesus as Lord - this is a teaching to help students learn what it means to be selfless and that part of salvation is turning over their entire life to Christ.  Our key phrase is "He died for us so we live for Him."

Week 3: Prayer, Bible Reading and Worship - this is a teaching on why and how to pray, read their bible and worship.

Week 4:  Baptism and Living Holy - this is a teaching about what is water baptism and why we should get water baptized as well as a challenge to live a holy life.  That their old life has died and a new life has come.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Launch - A 4 Week New Believers Group Pt. 1

This month we started a new ministry called Launch.  This is a 4 week group for new believers or students who want a firm foundation for their faith that I personally teach every Wed for high school students and Sun for Jhigh students.  When the 4 weeks is up the group repeats itself.  Every week I do a 15 minute teaching for these students that is accompanied with a handout for the students to fill out.  I'm very excited about this group and we have had over 20 students attend in the first 5 weeks.    My friend Jason Patterson created the curriculum for it and it has had a profound impact on the students who have attended the group.  Here is the promo video we made for it.

LAUNCH from Epic Student Ministries on Vimeo.