This post is a part of a series by Epic’s Field Ministry team, describing what it means to be Epic (a.k.a. to embody the Epic Movement DNA).
One aspect I admire of the staff, students, and volunteers in Epic Movement is the overall commitment to excellence in every aspect of ministry. I’ve met incredibly gifted musicians, writers, thinkers, builders, planners, artist, and leaders from all across the country.
With such talented individuals involved in planning retreats, weekly meetings, training times, leading events and small groups, I wonder sometimes how we differ from an organization like the Peace Corps. I imagine some of the elements of what we adhere to in Epic would be the similar to the Peace Corps or any other group: help others, be learners, develop meaningful relationships, build community.
But each time I begin to wonder, I circle back to the centrality of Jesus. I ask myself, and I invite you to evaluate as well: Is Jesus at the center of what I do, say, think and live? Is Jesus central in my life and in my ministry?
Anyone can put together a great weekly meeting comprised of these elements: sing inspiring songs, come up with creative and humorous ways to deliver important announcements, and deliver a motivational talk. What sets us apart is our understanding both experientially and cognitively the truth Jesus states in John 15:5 “I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing.” (emphasis mine). We are no different than the Peace Corps if we fail or forget to intentionally keep Jesus at the center of our lives and ministry. Jesus is the one who changes people’s lives (2 Corinthians 5:17), and through changed lives Jesus transforms families and communities. He is the One who causes growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). The overflow of our love for Jesus, our willingness to follow Him anywhere, our reliance on the power of His Spirit, will be healthy and growing Epic movements.
I have struggled at different times with devotion to ministry taking over my devotion to Jesus. The very thing we are trying to build, the vehicle of movements to help introduce people to Jesus on our campuses, can be what detracts from our first love. My life verse is found in 2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (emphasis mine).
May our Epic movements be rooted in a simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus, and may our Epic movements grow in depth and breadth through changed lives who are growing in community centered on Jesus.
What have you found to be helpful in keeping Jesus central personally and in ministry?
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen”
Vivian Mabuni, Epic staff