Our heart is to see every student that comes through our door transformed into mature followers of Christ. What we believe that looks like is found in our mission…that mission contains the working out of core values.
What is Student Ministry?
Reading through our mission statement it is our hope that you notice two words…”Christ” and “Others.” We believe that our focus should be outward and not inward. Sure, we must pay attention to our own spiritual maturity…but we believe that the result of that is a focus on God and others.
The heart of our ministry is bookended with two overarching themes…love and worship. We had completed our mission statement but after looking at it our students felt like something was missing. We could go through the motions but not love. We added the phrase, “We love by,” to communicate that we recognize our greatest responsibility is to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:34-40). We believe that every thought we have…every word we speak…everything we do…all of that should be as a result of love. After all, the world will recognize us as followers of Christ because of our love for one another (John 13:35).
We do not pretend to be THE spiritual authority in the lives of our students. Instead, we recognize that that responsibility has been given to parents (Deuteronomy 6). However, we know that we will have students who come from homes where this is not taking place. In those cases we know that we must step in and be their spiritual authority while trying to bring those parents to a place where they will lead spiritually. Our goal is simple…we want to reinforce what should be taking place in the home and to be a resource to families.
We love to have fun and there will always be fun elements that are woven into the strategy and methodology of E.D.G.E. Student Ministries. However, that will never be driving force of what we do. Our commitment to your family is that we will always be a Jesus-focused, Gospel-centered, disciple-making ministry. We feel like we can have fun doing that without building our ministry on entertainment.
We have been given a very clear responsibility…to take the Gospel to a lost and dying world (Matthew 28:18-19). Our heart is to train students in getting the Gospel to those who need it and then giving them the opportunity to do it. We help students to see that they are to be missionaries wherever they are. As believers we should share in the brokenness of Jesus when He looked over Jerusalem and wept because they did not recognize that God had come to them (Luke 19:41-44). We should be broken for the lost and have an urgency to communicate the truth of the Gospel with them. We demonstrate our love for God and others by taking the Gospel to the spiritually blinded.
We believe that while we have an opportunity to minister to students, we have also been given an opportunity to minister with students. We are partnering with students to minister to the needs of our families, our campuses, our neighborhoods, our city, our nation, and our world. Our students are active partners in that partnership. We push them to take ownership of E.D.G.E. Student Ministries and serve alongside them when they begin to understand that God has perfectly gifted them to do what He has laid before us as a ministry. Serving is daily activity. The gifts, talents, and passions that God has given each student should be employed on a daily basis to minister to the needs of those around us…and most importantly…with humility. Jesus demonstrated this for us beautifully in John 13 when He washed the nasty, dirty feet of His disciples.
Read that again please. All too often I hear well-meaning people talk about the importance of investing in students because “they are the church of tomorrow.” No. They. Are. Not. They are the church of today! They have been gifted by the Holy Spirit just as adults have (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11). In fact, if they do not serve in the manner to which God has gifted them the whole body of Christ suffers (Ephesians 4:16). We demonstrate our love for God and others by humbly looking for ways to use the gifts God has given us to serve others.
We are created for community. Fellowship, or koinonia, is an important part of the believer’s life. Acts 2:43-47 gives a picture of what biblical fellowship looks like. The early church thrived because they were together in Christ-centered community. We place value on building each other up in Christ. We accomplish this through small groups, accountability, and being intentional in connecting students with each other. We show our love for God and others by placing Christ at the center of all of our relationships.
If you aren’t growing, you are dying. If you don’t eat for several days then you begin to waste away. Scripture is compared to food…spiritual food (Hebrews 5). Personal study and implementation of God’s word is crucial to the spiritual health of a believer. God has revealed Himself to us through Scripture…to know God is to love God…the more we dig into God’s word, the more we grow to love Him.
Students are not exempt from investing in the lives of people around them. We believe in being intentional…to look for ways to pour into the lives of others. Doing so, involves students in the disciple-making process (Matthew 28:19). We encourage students to engage in disciple-making through a discipleship ministry we created called Kainos. Investing in people reveals an intense love for people.
Here is the other bookend of our heart as a ministry. Worship. Worship is more than music…it is more than lyrics…it is more than words. It is a lifestyle. Romans 12:1 is where we find our identity as a ministry. Paul spends the first eleven chapters of Romans explaining the sinful condition of man (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23) and God’s plan to reconcile man (Romans 5:8). Here he gives the application…in view of God’s great mercy, offer yourselves as a living sacrifice. Paul says this offering is the proper way to worship. So PROCLAIMING, SERVING, EDIFYING, GROWING, and INVESTING are all acts of worship…our response to God’s great grace. All of these words are action words… it implies a continual attitude or worship. From this idea of being a living sacrifice we get our battle cry as a student ministry…offering our lives as a living sacrifice means that we are giving God everything that we are…everything that we have…every single day…for God’s glory! Every Day Giving Everything