Epikos Church in Vancouver, Washington, is a Pivotal Design church in the Flight phase. Being free from a parental denomination allows Epikos to make an immeasurable difference.
- In October 2007, Ron Gladden and Elizabeth Whitworth gathered a launch team and began meeting in a home. The initial launch team consisted of six people, including Ron and Elizabeth. (Ron and Elizabeth serve as part-time Epikos staff members while they lead Mission Catalyst.)
- In December 2007, Epikos held its first monthly preview service in a hotel conference room. During this pre-launch phase, the launch team met every week, but they held a full worship service only once a month.
- In June 2008, Sam McKee joined the team as lead pastor and Pat Hart joined as a planting team member.
- In September 2008, Epikos launched by beginning to hold weekly weekend experiences at a middle school. Attendance was 58 at the first weekly service.
- In January 2009, Epikos celebrated its first baptism.
- In September 2014, Epikos celebrated its sixth anniversary and its 81st baptism.
- Vancouver is the county seat of Clark County and forms part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, the 24th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.
- Clark County population: 444,000 (2013)
- The percentage of Washington residents who do not attend church weekly is about 84%.
- Vancouver, Washington, was incorporated in 1857, 29 years before the larger city in Canada by the same name.
- Meriwether Lewis wrote that the Vancouver, Washington, area was “the only desired situation for settlement west of the Rocky Mountains”.
Cookie Recipe (How Epikos Does Church)
- We do only three things:
- weekend experiences
- We have a weekly creative team meeting.
- We are intentional about sermon themes (attractional/missional).
- Our weekend experience starts on time and lasts 75 minutes.
- We challenge people to take next steps.
- We give away Bibles.
- We don’t charge for the cafe.
- compassion/mission projects (Matthew 25 compassion locally and in Uganda)
- weekend experiences
- We tell stories and listen to stories.
- We have three major attractional events each year: Easter, Epikos anniversary (September), and Christmas.
- We integrate children and youth into each aspect of church life.
- We are intentional about making disciples (Restoration-U and GoCommunities) and developing leaders (Intentional Leadership Development).
- We hire staff who are (or will become) developers, not just doers.
- We are staff-led with very big ears.
- We hold two types of staff meetings weekly: tactical and strategic.
A Few Good Numbers
- Epikos has celebrated 81 baptisms so far.
- 85% of attenders have no SDA background.
- Epikos has invested about $300,000 in its adopted community of Ntandi, Uganda.
- Sam McKee | Teaching Pastor & Relational Architect | Sweet spot: reaching, preaching, training, connecting
- Ron Gladden | Directional Leader | Sweet spot: visioneering, developing leaders, writing, teaching
- Christy Davidson | Children’s Ministry Pastor | Sweet spot: teaching, organizing, supporting
- Steve Hotra | Leader of Inspirational Worship | Sweet spot: mentoring, connecting, worshiping, interceding
- Christina Rafano | Youth Leader | Sweet spot: inspiring, guiding, engaging
- Building fund
- Epic Kids ministry
- Salary/Stipend for an additional staff member
- Epikos is always looking to add team members who have character, competency, and chemistry.
- Attend and serve if you live in the area.
- Move. Consider following the example of Abraham, who moved to a new place to follow God’s leading.
- Serve as an off-site volunteer (e.g., graphic design, website services, email marketing).
This score reflects many factors to predict the viability of this project as a prevailing church.