Tag Archives: Ryan Epps
“What in the world am I here for.” Have you ever gone through those moments? During the summer of 2012, this disturbing question began sinking its claws deep into my daily thoughts. I had been married to a phenomenal lady for almost 12 years, had two great kids, a beautiful home, and had been in Youth Ministry for 13 years. I had experienced some storms in ministry the 2 years prior which I allowed affect my passion in all areas of my life and I knew this had something to do with it. I was now at a crossroads I wasn’t prepared for. I began going through a personal dilemma where God began to stir very heavy in my heart…He was closing a chapter in our lives. Was the next move supposed to continue in youth ministry or ministry at all? Had I allowed the storms in my life and ministry taint my view of the American church and the passion I had for people? I began to commit to prayer and drawing closer to the Father. For a couple months, the emotional side of this decision was heavy. I was torn. This is where I knew I had to cling to the Father and seek Him with my heart, soul, and mind.
As my wife, Brittany, and I continued discussion about taking on a new chapter, God compelled us to begin a prayer journey together.
A year ago this week, God in His magnificent ways, sent a spirit of urgency through my soul that communicated clearly the direction we were to go. He gave me a renewed spirit and passion towards the call He placed on my life years earlier. I knew then I was to embrace the call to remain in student ministry. Not only did I embrace it, but God began refining a vision in my heart and compelling my purpose to new heights in a way I had never experienced. I overwhelmed with praise and prepared to unleash this vision, purpose, and passion in the next location He would send me.
A year later, I am sitting here in my office at CrossPointe Church in Madison, AL where I am fully engaged with God’s purpose for my life. To love Jesus with all that I am, to cherish my beautiful wife with unconditionally love, to strive to be the greatest dad on the planet, to keep my family first, and to let joy, peace, and positivity reign over pettiness, drama, and politics, and to love, encourage, and challenge every teenager in the community. After 15 years of being a Student Pastor, I am ecstatic about the next 15 years.
People often ask me if I’m ever going to become a pastor of a church and why I still do Student Ministry. My simple answer is that my calling in life is to be a Student Pastor and until God changes that, I will embrace it with a relentless pursuit. I see no end in site and have never been more excited to do Student Ministry.
Here are 10 more Reasons Why I Am a Student Pastor
1. I believe teenagers can change the world.
2. I love to see young people give their lives to Christ.
3. I love family and so I have a passion to partner with parents to assist them in developing young disciples.
4. I love to influence teenagers to imitate Christ in all areas of their lives.
5. I love speaking truth into their lives weekly.
6. I love being a shepherd to this generation.
7. I love helping them grasp where their true value, significance, and identity is at an early and understandable age.
8. I love helping them steer their risk taking spirit towards pursuing God’s mission, thus becoming mission-minded.
9. I know I would not be happy doing anything else.
10.I AM A STUDENT PASTOR because God created and called me to love teenagers, lead teenagers, laugh with teenagers, cry with teenagers, teach teenagers, believe in teenagers, train teenagers, empower teenagers, and do life with teenagers.
I could think of many, many other reasons, but these are what comes to mind as I reflect with gratitude on this wonderful adventure God has me on in Student Ministry.