We Are EPiC
God is doing amazing things in the lives of our kids. We are passionate about reaching the next generation for Jesus and raising them up to know and love the Lord. These are a collection of stories and testimonies from our EPiC Kids Ministry.
"Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” - Matthew 19:14 (NIV)
Sara's Parent Cue Testimony
This week's parent Cue message has sent Gabbie into a spiral of thoughtful, loving-kindness. The think about this section reads: How can you show love to God? She says, "by showing others that we don't know or don't know well, that they are loved." She made a list of ways that she wants to show love to others this week. So far she has donated her toys, books, and clothes that she doesn't wear or use anymore, helped the kitchen team at her school clean up after lunch, lead a group of kids to help her pick up litter on the playground, wrote notes for others to read to feel good and laid them around Meijer, found out what her teacher needs for her class and wants to use her money to pick up the things! There is a fire in her heart for this and I know it stems from this week's verse, the think about this and do this section! This opened her heart to God's words. We are loving this app and the way that it is sharing God's word throughout her spirit and into the world!
A Story from our EPiC Kids Ministry
I felt the Holy Spirit yesterday in children's church. We were telling kids about David and how he was overlooked. We were supposed to start in 1 Sam 17, but I said, we really start in chapter 16. So I started teaching by telling the kids what was in chapter 16. In that chapter, Samuel is sent to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king. After he goes through all of his sons and rejected by God, Samuel discovers there is one more son in the fields tending the sheep. As soon as Samuel sees David, God says to him, "That's the one I have chosen. Anoint him." I told the kids, the family didn't even consider David. He wasn't there. Then I said this: 'Overlooked by a man; chosen by God." That's when I sensed the holy Spirit. I knew there was an anointing on those words. All through the rest of the day I kept saying those words to myself. I knew it could have been said like this: rejected by man; chosen by God. I was just looking at 1 Samuel 16 in my Bible, and this is what I found handwritten by me in that chapter: The person whom God chooses is the one whom man rejects. God confirmed it. P.S. It sure felt good to teach again.
Karla's Story (4th & 5th Graders)
The morning of September 29, I was a small group leader for 4/5 girls. At the end of class I asked if any of the girls would go to the alter with me to pray for my sister who was in the hospital and critically ill. One girl said yes and while the others were headed back to class, another turned around and said she wanted to but was scared. We explained that our prayers are stronger when we pray together and she decided to join us. We all believed together for my sisters complete healing. Two weeks later, I was scheduled to serve first service with the girls but was switched to second service. The lesson was on courage. The girl who was afraid to go forward to the alter but did anyway despite her fear, was in that class. I showed the girls a picture of my sister that was taken 2 weeks earlier in ICU on a ventilator and then showed them a picture of my sister taken 2 days ago at her house on her first day home. I was so happy to have the opportunity to see the look of joy on the face of that young lady who had the courage to go forward to the alter with me. Be strong and brave. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go. Joshua 1:9b Courage — being brave enough to do what you should do, even when you’re afraid.
In EPiC kids we are learning about the fruits of the spirit this summer. The week we learned about peace, I taught in the kindergarten room. I prayed with them and listened to their worries. The activity included naming a worry and adding a lego to build a big tower. I then showed them what happens when they give their worry to God by breaking apart the tower of legos. My heart was so touched to hear the things these kids worry about, like "my brother running away", and pointing them to God in prayer was such an honor!
Throughout my years in the military, my heart had been hardened, and the way about me had been harsh and rough around the edges. I didn’t trust people, and I did not put myself “out there” for people to get to know me. I was stand offish, quiet, and unsure of myself in my new role in the civilian world. In a sense, I was a bit lost. Moving home didn’t feel like home, everything had changed, and I wasn’t sure where I belonged. Then I started going to Life Change Church. I knew I was lost. I needed help, and I knew that the help I needed could only come from God. However, it wasn’t until I started serving in EPiC kids, that Life Change Church started to feel like “home.” I was going to Sunday services, I had even been a part of a few small groups, but I still felt like an outsider. Then it happened, my friend Melissa pushed me out of my comfort zone, and we attended “Growth Track” together. From the moment I entered Growth Track, knew I needed to serve. I could feel God pushing me to take the next step, so reluctantly and nervously, I did. It wasn’t long after I attended Growth Track that, that I signed up to serve in the Elementary Room with EPiC Kids. From the first time that I served, I knew that God was working in my life. I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit changing me, making me “softer” and more loving. The more I served, the more my confidence grew, and the more I was pulled out of my shell. Each time that I served, I could feel the love in my heart growing for the kids I was serving. I went from just wanting to help my own kids learn about Jesus to being fully invested in all of the kids that walked through the door. I went from being a “helper” to leading small group, then large group, and even praise and worship! The more I trusted God, the more I started to grow into the person God was calling me to be. Believe it or not, but the shy, unsure person I was when I started going to Life Change Church has morphed into a smiling leader who dances and sings “off key” at the top of my lungs in front of the entire room! Serving God in EPiC kids not only opened my own heart and changed me, but it is also impacting my family. My husband and my two older kids both serve. My husband and I can be having the worst day ever, and I can see him following God’s calling in the preschool room and my heart fills with joy and love. Watching him stepping out in faith and leading kids in the preschool room has been life changing for me to see. I love watching my husband becoming the man God is calling him to be, and it all started because he followed God’s calling to serve. Serving in EPiC kids has also impacted my kids. My two older kids are becoming more confident in their faith. They are serving not because I asked them to, but because they want to. They are learning what it means to follow God and are becoming more astute to hearing God’s voice amongst the chaos of life. They are learning the meaning of commitment, love, discipline, and so much more all because they followed God’s prompting to serve. It melts my heart to see them grown in God and I am so incredibly proud of them. My youngest is too small to serve but let me just give a shout out to his leaders! My youngest was very shy when we first started going to Life Change. It was a struggle to get him to leave my side. But he confidently walks into his classroom now. Not only does he learn about Jesus, but he trusts his leaders/teachers. He knows he is safe. And here is the kicker….he has fun! He has FUN, even though we are at church two services every Sunday. He loves every minute of both his Kinder class and KOPS (Kids of Parents Serving) class. He is seeing firsthand what it means to walk in faith by watching the leaders in his life (in both the kinder room and KOPs class) model what that means. Serving in EPiC kids has changed my life and has impacted my family in so many different ways. More ways than I even have listed here! And it all started because we said “Yes” to God and trusted him to grow us into the people he has called us to be. We still have a lot of growing to do, and fall on our faces more often than not, but “saying yes” to God by serving in EPiC kids has been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the future!
EPiC Kids Ministry
One of our 3rd graders in EPIC last Sunday had so much fun that she begged her teacher to please ask her parents if she could stay for 2nd service! They said yes and we had one very happy kid! I am so thankful that kids love EPIC!
Learning God's Word
The first graders were talking about perseverance and what it means. One girl said "it means keep on keepin' on." The whole group loved it and kept saying it. I would ask what does perseverance mean and they would all respond "keep on keepin' on!" His word is sticking in their hearts, even through the silliest of sayings!
Parent Cue Testimony
My kids LOVE doing Parent Cue time! We are able to connect about the message at church, practice the Bible verse, and learn more about one another by asking the question posed. My kids especially love watching their video! As a parent, I love the app because it’s easy to use and reminds me how short my time is with my kiddos. It gives me a way to connect with my children on a new level!
Connecting With Families
A couple of weeks ago I filled in as a check-in volunteer and had the opportunity to welcome two new families to our church. One of the families had a preschool aged boy and his father filled me in that he LOVES praise and worship. As he said the words Praise and Worship the boy was consumed with the Holy Spirit and started singing and dancing and praising God at the check-in station! His dad also told me that the boy was best friends with the worship pastor at his mom’s church. God gave us a perfect opportunity to connect with this little boy in special way! I was able to connect with Jenna and brought her to the preschool room to meet him. After service, Jenna spent extra time connecting with the boy and his family. What an awesome introduction to our church family!
One of the focuses of our Kindergarten room is prayer. We want these young kids to know that God is always listening, that we can talk to Him at any time, and that He wants us to talk to Him. Our student leaders are becoming great examples of this. In particular, one student leader felt led to join a child at the altar in Elementary to pray with/ over the child. What a joy to know that we have student leaders leading by example! The fruit of showing the Kindergarten kiddos how to pray and teaching them why we pray has been just as wonderful. These kids are EXCITED to pray! They pray for each other, our world, over snacks, etc. because that’s what they see in our ministry!
Serving in EPiC
For about 3 years now I have been faithfully serving in our EPiC kids ministry. Serving in that ministry has transformed my walk with Jesus into something deeper and more meaningful. Specifically over the past year, God planted me in a role that I felt ill-equipped for but He had a plan. He had used my discomfort and my obedience to follow this calling to energize my faith, establish trust, and show me I am loved. When I first started serving in EPiC, I "read" the lessons to the kids. I wasn't invested in it anymore than delivering a lesson. I soon realized that I needed to have a better relationship with Jesus if I desired for them to have one too. So, I dug deeper with God, I clung to the bottom lines and songs that I was repeating and singing with the kids every Sunday, and I studied scripture to get to know God personally. I wanted to be authentic with our kids which meant having an authentic relationship with Jesus. It was a GAME CHANGER. Now I can talk to the kids about the Jesus I have come to call friend. The Jesus that loves us and forgives us. I press into God more and more so that I can pour out to our kids ministry all that our God is. Because I'm pressing in, God is making God-sized changes in my life. One of my hangups has always been worry. We spend so much time in EPiC talking about our God who is big and mighty and who cares for us and I began to realize I can trust Jesus too. This past week work was really crazy. I had something like 18 different things colliding all at once. 3 years ago I would have lost it. I would have avoided people, lashed out at my family, worked a LOT, etc. This time though, I thought about our lessons this month in EPiC on the fruit of the spirit, speficially Peace and I talked to God instead. I prayed and He reminded me I can ask for help. I can say no. He will carry my burdens and grant me peace. After praying, I picked up my phone and called my boss. We repeioritozed my work, canceled some meetings, scheduled some uninterrupted development time, said not right now to some things, and delegated others. I was able to move forward and had a super productive week without having to sacrifice my personal and family time! I'm so glad I called on God in my time of need. He relieved me of my worries and pulled me through! Now, I can tell all my EPiC kiddo friends what our God can do when we need peace!
One of our kids that thrives from a one on one connection had a great day with his mentor today. While eating lunch together after service, he showed how much it meant to him by saying, "Hey, thanks for sitting with me today!". His mentor knew he needed a friend and just sitting with him in those moments meant more to him than anything we could have "taught".