how to have a life-changing year
Every year students choose to do EPIC Commission for various reasons.
One commonality with all EC students though, is a desire to grow closer to God and make lifelong faith-filled friendships.
People do EC because they believe that God can do something significant in their life; they believe that EC could be a life-changing experience.
And, over the years, EC has been exactly that for countless EC students. EC has been a life-changing experience that has launched them into life. They have grown deep, meaningful roots in their relationships with God, and they have made lifelong, faith-filled friendships.
There seems to be a common denominator between these students who really have a life-changing experience within EPIC Commission. As we look back over the last seven years, we can see that students who really “got” what they came into EC looking for had some common characteristics.
We want to set you up for success, because we desire EC to be all that it can be in your life this year! So, we want to let you in on a little secret… here are some things that students do that make EC a life-changing experience!
1. They keep their heart hungry, humble, and pure
The condition of your heart will be the #1 variable that impacts how life-changing this year will be for you. It is through our heart that God speaks to us and through us. Students that maintain a pure, hungry, humble, and tender heart towards the Lord and towards others experience maximum life-change through EC! Only God knows the condition of one’s heart, but a hungry, humble, pure heart is outwardly seen through students who are attentive and eager to take notes in class, joyfully serve their peers and leaders, and quickly apologize or repent when mistakes happen.
CHALLENGE: Guard your heart this summer and throughout EC. Make sure your “eyes” are always on your heart, keeping any clutter, bitterness, apathy, and rebellion out. “The pure in heart, will see God” (Matthew 5:8)
2. They make EC a consecrated season to the Lord
Consecrated simply means “set apart” or “called holy”. For students, it means to set apart the season in EC as a holy and sacred season of preparation. Consecration starts in the heart, and from there makes parts of our life different. For many students who consecrated the EC season to the Lord, it meant giving up something for a season to allow for more room for God to move in their life. It is saying, “God, I want an encounter with you so bad this year, that I eagerly consecrate this area of my life with expectation of all the good you are going to do in my life!”
For some, this means they made a decision to not date for the first semester or first year (which we highly encourage), because they did not want a relationship to distract from what God could do in their life. Others made significant changes in the media/social media they consumed, or made a strong stance for purity in various areas of their life. For some this meant waking up 30 minutes early every morning to have quality time with God, or carve out time on a weekly basis to intercede for friends and family members.
CHALLENGE: Consecrate this year to the Lord, in your heart! Consider how you could “set apart” this year to be holy unto the Lord, and not just another ordinary year.
3. They “live at peace” with people in their life
Romans 12:18 challenges us in this: “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”. When Jesus summed up all the commands of God, He boiled it down to two simple laws: Love God and love people. We have found over the years, that when students have relational conflict it creates spiritual conflict in their life as well. Those who “live at peace with everyone” are the ones who choose to believe the best in their roommates & their leaders, they are the ones who choose to put a muzzle on their mouth and not gossip, they are the ones who are the first to apologize and initiate conflict resolution.
Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of gossip, being offended, or having your “walls up” with people this year. Even though EC is a church discipleship program, it is full of imperfect people (and leaders!). So come in with an understanding that at some point this year someone will let you down (most likely unintentionally). Choose now to believe the best and live at peace with everyone, and you will be amazed at how that empowers you to live at peace with God too!
CHALLENGE: Come into EC with your “love glasses” on. Choose from the front end to look at every person and every situation through the lense of love, because love believes the best and easily forgives. Make a decision now to be a person of encouragement, love, and inclusion.
We truly believe that your EC season has the potential to be a truly life-changing experience! We want nothing more than for you to “get” everything from EC that you desire to. We want you to have God encounters that mark your life forever and have God-knit friendships that last a lifetime.
We pray that you really consider these three simple points, we really believe that if you do EC with a humble, hungry, and pure heart, if you live a consecrated year to the Lord, and if you choose to continually live at peace with everyone that this will be the most impactful year of your life thus far!
Let’s believe God together for a year of life-change!