Wednesday evenings to feature vitality on-ramp opportunities

Vitality On-rampBy Mary M. Rall
Community Covenant Church

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska – The train has left the station for the Vitality Pathway, but an upcoming opportunity at Community Covenant Church will create on-ramps for people of all ages to learn and grow in their walk with Christ.

The 10-week venture will feature Vitality Groups and children’s programming Wednesdays from 6:30-8 p.m. from Jan. 14 to March 26 and will offer spiritual development, discipleship and deployment opportunities for participants as young as 4 years old, said Discipleship and Mission Pastor Erika Whittington.

“We’re trying to work to create opportunities for people to both grow and discern where they fit in at church,” Whittington said, noting there will be four separate Vitality Group studies for high schoolers and adults to participate in alongside each other.

The groups will present interactive opportunities for people to delve into specific subject areas that will help them develop and grow in their faith, explore what it means to be a disciple of Christ and learn what their spiritual gifts may be and how to deploy and use those gifts in the world, Whittington said.

“I can assess where I am right now, but understanding comes more naturally in community than (it does) individually,” she said. “It’s a nice on-ramp for people to enter into things in a nonthreatening manner.”

The featured Vitality Groups for high schoolers and adults are:

  • What You Do Best in the Body of Christ – Participants will discover how their God-given spiritual gifts, personal style and ministry passions have equipped them, can help them serve with energy and authenticity and where they may be motivated to serve. The study will be facilitated by Vicki Hodge, Lou Amundson and Ed Carlson and includes a $10 book fee.
  • Financial Peace University – This biblically-based program teaches participants how to manage God’s money, God’s way through entertaining video lessons and powerful small group accountability. FPU empowers people to make sound decisions about money, eliminate debt, build wealth and give like never before. The class will be facilitated by Jim Stouffer and has a $100 materials fee for each attending couple or individual.
  • Amos and Micah Study – Group participants will embark on a study in the Old Testament about the minor prophets of Amos and Micah, with an emphasis on biblical justice. There’s no fee to participate in this study, which will be facilitated by Pastor Erika Whittington and Leah Dubber.
  • Compass: Oriented for Lifelong Growth – The study will explore the central perspectives, practices and markers of Christianity, which will help guide participants in their lifelong spiritual journeys. The group will be facilitated by Mike Alverts, Ed Deforest and Sarah Pace and doesn’t include a participation fee.

Child care will be offered for group participants as well, but the Wednesday evening learning and growth opportunities aren’t limited to the high school and adult Vitality Groups, said Children’s Ministries Director Stacy Pickens.

According to Pickens, children from 4 years old through the fifth grade will have an opportunity to participate in Kairos Quest from 6:30-8 p.m. while their parents are engaged in the Vitality Groups.

Although Kairos Quest is a ministry that teaches biblical truths though relationships and adventure activities, Pickens said it shouldn’t be mistaken for something comparable to a vacation Bible school program.

“This is them meeting God in a real way. It’s not a sparkly program that delivers a prepackaged Jesus to them,” Pickens said. “This is preparing them to be the light out in the world, preparing them to be the church all the time – not just when they walk through these doors.”

Pickens stressed Kairos Quest isn’t a production-based program, but is one that will be personalized for each child every step of the way.

“We’re going to know your kids’ names, we’re going to know what their challenges are, we’re going to know what their giftings are and come alongside them,” she said, adding that high schoolers, adults and adult and middle schooler teams will work with the children in multi-aged huddle groups.

“The huddle leaders are the ones who’re responsible for giving one-on-one face time,” Pickens said. “The four- to six-person huddle groups will take prayer requests, build on lessons, ask questions and then discuss real-life applications.”

The personalized nature of Kairos Quest means it’s not an ideal opportunity to bring children’s friends, whose parents aren’t attending a Vitality Group study Wednesday nights, to join the program, she said.

“If their parents are participating, and they’re learning, then they can participate as well,” Pickens said.

According to Whittington, the multigenerational nature of the Wednesday evening experience is something the church has wanted to make a reality for a long time.

“There’s definite excitement about the students being a part of the classes and huddles,” Whittington said, noting the evenings will be structured in an all-inclusive manner that won’t allow the participation of children and teenagers to be viewed as an anomaly.

Pickens said she’s particularly excited to see how the experience will impact the spiritual lives of CCC’s young people.

“It’s an opportunity to share with them my passion for youth ministry, and when you can share your passion and see it take hold, it’s a beautiful thing,” she said.

There’s no participation fee for Kairos Quest, Pickens said, adding that an informational meeting will be offered Jan. 11 at 12:30 p.m. in the library for parents who would like additional information on the experience.

Learn more about adult Vitality Groups:

Click here to register