Sunday, November 16, 2008

Well, today was the preview service for epicenter - the new service our church will be starting in January targeted at 18-30 somethings. This is a demographic that is currently a very small minority in our church. We have a tremendous kids ministry, a vibrant youth ministry, and a solid core of middle-age adults. Unfortunately, we are missing those college, post-college and young families in our community. We hope to change all that with the addition of epicenter to our weekly schedule of events. There are three main components of this new service:
  • experiential worship
Hannah and I will be primarily in charge of designing engaging worship experiences each week. We'll have the help of a worship band comprised of musicians from the existing adult worship teams (many thanks to Larry, Harrison and Kendra for working all the details out on this!) and hopefully some new musicians that will be attracted to this service.
  • biblical teaching
Aaron Young will be the teacher each week and will focus on biblical messages that concentrate on biblical books or themes as opposed to topical teaching. Nothing against topical teaching but we are specifically focusing on a target audience that wants to grow deeper in their understanding and experience of God. We believe in-depth biblical teaching is the best way to achieve this goal.
  • intentional community
Each meeting will end with the entire group being broken down into smaller life-stage groups - college/career, post-college singles, young married (w/o kids), young married (w/kids) and adults. There will be a facilitator for each life-stage group and several assistant facilitators in case the groups are still large, they can still be broken down into groups of 8-10. In these small groups, the focus will be on getting to know others at epicenter and form meaningful relationships. Initially this will be accomplished by times of discussion but our goal is for community to develop. Our hope is that members of the life-stage groups will continue building relationships outside the service by going to dinner together and experiencing community outside the context of the epicenter service. Right now we are currently praying and searching for the right people to facilitate these life-stage groups.

Although we are targeting the 18-30 demographic, we're putting some wide boundaries on this age bracket. We recognize that this alternative service will appeal to a variety of people who don't necessarily fit neatly into a predefined age bracket. If this approach to worship, teaching and community resonates with someone outside the target group, we want them to feel like they have a place to connect with our church.

I'm excited about this new service. January 4th is the official launch date. It will be from 5:30-7:00 pm in the Student Life building. Check back for more updates and click below to join our facebook group. We hope to see you there!

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