CREW FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How is CREW different from what we’re doing now for Students at the East Memphis Campus?
There are many differences, such as CREW will be happening all over the campus, the main lobby, and in the main auditorium (until renovation of the new student space is complete), which means a much higher quality experience. However, the primary difference you’ll notice is that CREW combines our large group environment (currently on Sunday mornings) and our groups environment (currently on Wednesday nights) into one environment on Wednesday night.
What are the reasons for moving to ONE weekly environment?
There are many reasons behind this decision. Here are a few of those:
- Getting More Students into Small Groups: Groups are the backbone of our next steps with Students. By integrating the groups below into the SAME NIGHT as the large group environment, it becomes much easier to get more students into groups. We know groups are vital to the growth of both students and our ministry. Groups are where friendship and discipleship happen the best, and healthy friendships and discipleship are vital to students sticking to our ministry. In addition to our Groups for students who regularly attend, we will be launching “Jump Off Groups,” which are designed for Guests who are still not sure about small groups.
- Allows Us to Reach More, More Effectively: Over the past six months, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to answer the question, “When it comes to reaching and connecting with the most students - both the regulars that attend AND the first time guests - when is the best time and what is the best way to do this?” For many reasons (see below) Wednesday night has the least amount of obstacles for students, families, and volunteers. In addition, it’s just as important to note that this move to Wednesday night now frees up Sunday mornings to become more intentional and gives us the space we need to provide more growth and serve opportunities for Students.
- Makes Sunday Mornings More Intentional: This move to Wednesday nights will free up both time and valuable resources that will allow us to provide more opportunities for Students to grow and lead on a Sunday morning. Now we have two services on Sunday where students who regularly attend will be able to go to specialty short term classes, attend Growth Track for Students, or serve in another area at Highpoint.
- Busyness: Teenagers are so hyper-busy these days, and having more than one weekly environment sometimes causes a dilemma for parents and students and raises the question: “Which environment do I attend this week?” In essence, doing too much can create a sense of competition between the environments we offer students each week.
- Resource Stewardship: I’m sure you would agree that the more programs we do, the less quality we are able to produce for your students, and the less time your students will have for family, homework, jobs, and much more. We all know that both CONTEXT and CONTENT are crucial for effective LIFE CHANGE. The CONTEXT – the environment – is what keeps them coming back. The CONTENT – what we communicate – is what equips them for life! Unfortunately, the context tends to absorb most of our time and attention when we try to balance two very different environments at two different times each week that are also competing for our students' time. Creating one environment will allow us to focus all of our time, resources, energy, and volunteers intentionally on high quality context and content. It’s still important that we keep creating those exciting and attractive environments for teenagers. If we have a room that will seat 300 students, we will do whatever we can to fill it up. But, whether the room is full or not, we have the responsibility to make sure the material we throw at them sticks – that it’s memorable and that it’s transformational.
- Celebrating the Win: We had to take a step back and define what the “win” would be for us in student ministry. What’s our measuring stick for success and WINNING in a students life? We determined those to be: 1) healthy friendships over more programs, 2) an attractive place for student to connect with God and discover a faith of their own, 3) providing the best music / worship led by the best musicians we can find, 4) communicating God’s truth in a relevant way, 5) creating a culture that encourages spiritual growth through healthy relationships, 6) developing a team of volunteers and leaders to help students grow, and 7) partnering with families to prepare students for a lifetime of influence and ministry.
Why did we choose Wednesday Nights?
Our team spent many hours considering parents, students, our volunteers, their schedules and working through what day and time of the week would be best at the East Memphis campus. CREW is designed to be our primary weekly environment for students, their friends, and guests. With this in mind, Wednesday night is the least busy time for the majority of students and leaders. This gives us the best opportunity to reach the most people.
Where will CREW take place at the East Memphis campus?
Another advantage to Wednesday nights for CREW is the WHOLE East Memphis campus is available for Students to use. So, upon arrival, students will enter through the main entrance into the lobby and check-in. After check-in, students can enjoy various special features each week (food trucks, outdoor / indoor games, photo booth, etc.) before music starts in the main auditorium to kick off the large group element. After large group, students will then breakout into their small groups across the campus.
What are the main elements at CREW each week?
- Hang Time: This is where we make a great first impression on both our regular students and first time guests. Each week we will utilize food trucks, outdoor games, and other special features to provide a great experience that students don’t expect from a church, which allows us to tear down walls and help build great connections.
- The Large Group:
- The Music (The best in the city, for sure): We’ll use multiple musical genres and songs, performed with world-class excellence that will captivate students, draw them in, and prepare them to encounter Jesus. We’ll play songs students may hear on the radio, songs students have never heard before, songs their friends are singing, worship songs written by our own people, and worship songs written by others.
- The Talks (Creative + Series Based): We want students to hear about Jesus! Sermons / talks will be series-based for the most part. More importantly, they will be creative, funny, uplifting, applicable, and will always teach students more about Jesus AND give them an opportunity to start a relationship with Him!
- Groups (Backbone of the whole thing): Groups are the backbone of our next steps with Students, BUT they’re currently on Wednesday nights, which makes it much harder to get students to come to both the Sunday morning large group environment and then return on Wednesday for small groups. By moving small groups to the same environment and time as the large group environment, it becomes much easier to get more students into groups. Groups are where friendship and discipleship happen the best, and healthy friendships and discipleship are vital to students sticking to our ministry.
- VIP Experience: A special VIP environment for students who are at Highpoint for the first time and for the person who invited/brought them! The VIP Room should have awesome food, band members to hang out with, and some of our small group leaders to answer any questions student may about anything such as the night itself, Jesus, upcoming opportunities for them, etc.
Why are we focusing so much on relationships & small groups at CREW?
In scripture, we see Jesus doing ministry this way. Almost anything a student loves to do is connected to a relationship they already have. And there is NOTHING that exists in the world that can produce the kind of authentic relationships that we have the potential to create in the church. We know from experience that students will attend events like this for a while, but they won’t stick around long term if they don’t connect relationally! And, the best way to get them connected relationally is through Groups that are open and intentional.
Will my student be required to attend a small group at CREW?
The short answer is no. We want to be parent / family friendly and sensitive to what’s going on in your kids life away from Highpoint. So, we understand there will be weeks where your student can’t be there for the whole time. With that said, we can’t express enough the high value that the 40 minutes of small group time can have in your students life - for both healthy friendships AND healthy intentional discipleship. But we understand there are times they just can’t stay the whole time.
How are students going to be broken down into groups? What size are the groups?
Students are placed in groups based on grade, gender, friends, group size, school, hobbies, leadership availability, etc. The groups will vary in size. Ideally we want our groups to consist of 8 to 12 students with two leaders. We will continually assess the health of our groups and encourage multiplication when necessary.
What will CREW be like for first time guests?
I’m really excited about our approach with First Time Guests at CREW. The very first week they attend - guests along with the person who invited them - will go to our VIP experience during Groups. This is strategic as well as relational. The VIP Room will have some “exclusive” VIP food, band members and our pastors will be there to hang out, and some really cool volunteers to answer any questions they may have about the night. Finally, this is where we begin helping guest get connected to the right group. Many of our guests will be a natural fit in the group with the person that invited them, but that’s not always the case. So we want to be sure at the very beginning we’re intentional about making the group a fit for them.
How does this affect Sunday Mornings?
Sunday mornings will look different in two ways: First, we will no longer have a student specific service in the Loft at the 11AM service. CREW will replace this on Wednesday Nights and CREW will become the primary weekly environment for both our regular students and First Time Guests.
Secondly, with CREW being on Wednesday nights, we can now provide opportunities for students to do MUCH MORE on Sunday mornings as it allows us to greatly enhance the opportunities for our regular students to GROWING, SERVE, and LEAD on Sunday mornings. In addition, Sunday mornings can still be an opportunity for us to help First Time Guests that attend a Sunday morning get connected to Student Ministry.
DOWNLOAD: CLICK HERE to download the plan for what we will be rolling out on Sunday mornings starting on September 11, 2016.
What time will CREW start? And what will a typical night look like?
Doors will open each Wednesday night for CREW at 6:00PM. Then at 6:30PM, the music starts and the large group get going. The large group experience at Crew will end at 7:30PM. Out of the large group, students will go to their small groups if they chose to be in one. Students will be dismissed at 8PM when their small group is over.
- 6:00PM - Doors Open & Hang Time: Students gather early to hang out and catch up with friends, grab some dinner at a food truck, play some lawn games, or grab some coffee or a frap. Starting at 6:00PM – 20 minutes
- 6:30PM - The Music Starts: The large group experience is gonna be a party with the best live music in Memphis, party like feel, etc with a great talk by one of our student pastors
- 7:30PM - CREW Groups Begin: While we don’t want to force kids in groups, they are his is the key element – students break into their small groups with their leader to further discuss the checkpoint and the bottom line big idea for the evening.
- 8PM - Students Are Dismissed
What time will I need to pick up my student each week?
Great questions. If you’re student is not in a small group or can’t attend their group they will need to be picked up at 7:30PM. Otherwise, you can pick them up at 8PM. For safety purposes, students who plan to stay until 8PM will be asked to go to their small group. We don’t want students freely roaming around the campus unsupervised. If your students drove their own car, these same times apply for when they we will be dismissed.
How many adult volunteers will be needed to make CREW happen each week?
We want to show up for our students and provide an incredible environment for them each week. This requires 45 to 60 adult volunteers each week serving in a variety of roles such as: Check In Host, VIP Host, production, lights, audio, camera, producers, musicians, small group leaders, security, connectors, etc.
What is the connection between UNITED Nights & CREW?
United is something we started this Summer and has been a HUGE win for students at BOTH Highpoint campuses. Since we’re one church with multiple locations and CREW will be happening at BOTH campuses, UNITED NITES will be 4 to 5 nights each year where Students from CREW at both campuses will come together as one.