In our EDGE groups we hold up four words that act as a way to ensure we all have a good time and that we can all leave as inspired a possible. They are Real, Enter-Active, Dependent, Inspiring.
We invite everyone to come to EDGE meetings just as they are. At EDGE meetings we kindly ask that you leave your masks at the door and let everyone see the real you. Granted, most places you’ve probably been greatly appreciate and even encourage you to please keep your mask on, especially in public like parties, basketball courts, and some well meaning but stuffy churches. We know that keeping a mask on can seem very natural and provide a comfortable illusion of safety. However, in EDGE group, we will get to know you, even love you, and eventually we will be able to see through the mask you try to sneak in the door. We know it can be hard at first, however, hopefully when you see everyone else coming to EDGE meetings without a mask, you will let the others in your EDGE group see what they’ve been looking for and loving all along; just you! When everyone in EDGE embraces this value of being real with each other all the time things really start to happen, like the other three EDGE values, but you must be real first. So take it from us, just leave your mask at the door. We know it can be scary and sometimes embarrassing. However, when you realize everyone else has also taken off their masks, then it can be very freeing and even a little exciting .
This is our “you won’t find it in any dictionary” word that simply means that EDGE group members all make an effort to enter into and actively participate in each other’s lives. Loving people for only an hour or two a week usually won’t cut it if life change for you or them is the goal. This entering in and becoming active can take a number of forms like eating meals together, taking road trips, attending Thursday night Challenge meetings, or just hanging out and watching movies with others in your EDGE group and their friends. EDGE groups facilitate life change by giving people a starting place to enter into and actively participate in other group members’ lives. When this happens the next two values start to come alive.
In EDGE, we strive to be dependent on God and each other. We first and foremost need and depend on God. We believe that without God working in our lives, we are utterly incapable of moving on through the next leg of our journey, maturing in our understanding of truth, or fully becoming the whole person that God has designed each of us to be. We also depend on each other, not to work out of our own strength or limited understanding but for us, ourselves, to be obedient to God in whatever way He prompts us to love others in the group. This love can take the form of anything from a simple word of truth or an encouraging note to dropping everything to give a ride to someone when their tire goes flat on the way to class. In the Bible, John 13:35 states “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This can no better be expressed than through humbly allowing others to love and serve us as God strengthens and directs them. Simply put, true spiritual dependence and a key to giving others a real look at Jesus happens when we as EDGE group members are the hands and feet of Jesus to each other.
In EDGE, we strive to inspire each other to live life to the fullest in a way that is wholly pleasing to God. This happens as we learn to be real and let each other actively enter into our lives. Inspiration comes as we see God come through in both good and bad times as we depend on Him and others. Inspiration lives in learning from other’s failures and cheering for their victories. In fact, all the parts of EDGE are opportunities for us to be inspired. As we talk about our vision for the group, help others see perhaps a new angle of God through worship, discuss the mysteries of the Bible, pray together and hang out over food and drink, we are inviting God to use any of these things to speak to our deepest heart of hearts. And the best part is, not only do we inspire each other in EDGE, but as those outside the group see us loving and living well, they also are inspired to search for what they see in us and even take a step closer to Jesus.