So most of us know EDGE’s mission: to connect public school students with Jesus Christ and the local church. But what exactly does that mean for the local church – how does EDGE fit into the vision of missional churches? How does EDGE empower them to reach lost students? You may have heard all the following, and all the following is true:
- The E-D-G-E strategy trains students in local churches to become missionaries on their public school campuses;
- EDGE empowers youth ministers and adult volunteers to legally enter public schools and disciple students;
- EDGE equips students to bring their friends back to their local church to grow spiritually.
This ministry exists to equip the local church to fulfill the Great Commission in public schools. Basically, if you think of Jesus’ “Fishing for men” analogy, students are the fishermen, the gospel is the boat used to venture out to get the fish (the ocean full of fish is the public school full of students who don’t know Christ), while EDGE Clubs are the net used to catch fish.
It’s time to DTR – let’s “Define the Relationship,” taking a closer look at how Cutting EDGE Ministries and the local church partner to reach students.
- EDGE is not the local church.
EDGE is not a para-church organization designed to operate apart from the church – in fact, EDGE Clubs fails in it’s mission without the church alongside it to disciple students. This piece of our mission places a huge emphasis on youth students, youth pastors, and lay leaders who invest their time into EDGE Clubs so students without Christ know there’s not only a person of faith they can go to, but a loving faith community represented by that person, ready to welcome them and disciple them.
- The Church must believe the fight is in the public schools.
EDGE allows the church to look beyond it’s walls to reach the lost – and lost students in Northern Virginia are found in the public schools. Through investing in Cutting EDGE Ministries, the church is putting it’s people on the mission field to do the work of the Great Commission – “GO, MAKE disciples.” (Matthew 28:19)
- EDGE is not an excuse for the local church not to do campus missions – edge only goes as far as the Church takes it.
EDGE helps equip youth pastors and lay leaders to train their students to be missionaries, and without the church taking up the mantle to reach the lost (whether in the public schools, or elsewhere), EDGE simply will not succeed.
- EDGE is not a national organization – focus on Northern VA.
This region has almost 3 million people living in it. As an example, in Prince William County alone, half of it’s population is under 18. Tens of Thousands of public high school and middle school students from literally every walk of life, ethnicity, and background attend school in Northern VA. If students here are reached with the gospel, the impact could make it into homes that have never otherwise heard the name of Jesus.
- Edge is student-led.
These church students are the ones who are legally allowed to start EDGE Clubs, invite & disciple their friends, and invite guest speakers to come and share the gospel. After the gospel is shared, it is the students who reach out to friends who accept Christ in EDGE Club and invite them back to church, investing in them spiritually. Students who are raised missionally, given leadership, or given a chance to see the spiritual fruit of their efforts, are statistically more likely to remain in church after graduating high school.
- Edge is gospel centered.
EDGE is a multi-denominational ministry made up of all types churches anchored on gospel-centered, biblical teaching, that feel called to reach the public schools. There is no agenda pushed at EDGE other than the clear, unadulterated Good News of Jesus Christ for Salvation, and the invitation to accept Christ right then and there in a public school classroom. The gospel compels the church to go, find the lost, speak the name of Jesus, and disciple them in a body of believers – EDGE is centered solely around this Good News, and brings together Christians from every walk of life who unapologeticly seek to share Christ.
We are praying that God brings more local churches into the public schools through Cutting EDGE Ministries. Since 1997, over 50 churches have been involved, and the work is never over. Northern Virginia is growing, transient, and spiritually dark. Churches have their work cut out, but a have a God who promises that He will be with us always! So let’s do it. Let’s go make disciples and reach the nations represented all around us in our public schools.