EPIC | Philosophy
Over the last few years we’ve seen an increasing number of students struggle with their consistency in making it to our student ministry program. And we get why! There are plenty of good reasons for this. We know that more than half of our students participate in organized activities: clubs, sports, dance, scouts, drama, and the like. We also understand the academic pressure that our students are under—there is such a demand for them to perform and do well here. And yet, what tends to happen is that, when students have to choose between the demands of homework and extracurriculars or their weekly spiritual formation experience, academics and extracurriculars win out. We totally understand!
In light of this, our ministry team started asking questions about spiritual formation in the context of our students’ schedules. As a department, we’ve had some great dialogue about how to best meet their spiritual needs--and we have come to the conclusion that maybe the way we are currently doing things might need some tweaking in order for our teens to get the most out of our program and have some truly significant experiences with God and their community. Think about it: If your studenthas one extracurricular activity that requires them to miss Wednesday night for a quarter of the year, they miss out on vital spiritual formation that takes place in our program, small groups, and events. That’s a problem. And then, once a student returns, they might feel like too much time has passed which might make them feel like an outsider. That’s also a problem. Not to mention the tension that comes with having to choose between community, faith formation and academics. Another problem.
But we have some solutions! We have thought long and hard and prayed long and hard about what kind of options would work best so our students don’t have to choose between school/extracurriculars and their formation experiences/ community here are church. We have thoughtfully considered the needs of our students with a sensitivity toward their schedules and time (which also likely means your schedule and time!).