What is it going to take to reach all of Jefferson High School?*
This was the question being asked by students working with Collision, a local ministry focused on catalyzing movements to Christ within every school in their city. One student leader shared a plan to identify every relational group within the school: football players, skaters, the theater crowd, cross country runners, Latinos, Somalis, Nepalis, etc. They were wrestling with the idea of entry strategy.
In the four fields to kingdom growth framework, understanding how to identify and enter fields of lostness is a key concept of the first field.
As these students made their lists, they were beginning to do just that. Remember, their vision was to reach ALL of Jefferson High School, one of the biggest schools in the state.
Theirs was a God sized vision!
They started by identifying each relational group in their school. They then moved on to the second half of the entry strategy concept: How do we enter those fields?
How do we ensure that every person, in every group has the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel?
Exploring Entry Strategy
As we work to raise up disciples who will make disciples, we must train entry strategy. If our disciples are going to obey Jesus and make disciples then we must teach them tools and strategies that they can employ and teach others to employ.
Entry strategies should lead to opportunities to share the gospel. If our only entry strategy is to ask disciples of Jesus to invite the lost to come to events so someone else can share the gospel with them, we are inadvertently communicating to them that making disciples is someone else’s job.
But movements aren’t built on the expertise and charisma of a few but on the priesthood of all believers equipped and released to make disciples who make disciples.
At the start we must teach entry strategies that challenge the faith of new believers and release responsibility to them. Anything else will lead to passivity and stagnation.**
Entry Strategy Examples
There are hundreds and thousands of entry strategies. These strategies allow us to get in front of people who are far from God. Almost all of them are valid and almost all of them produce fruit and lead to salvations.
Sat 7 broadcasts the good news of Jesus all across the Muslim world.
Billy Graham shared the good news of Jesus to stadiums filled with people.
Tracts have been left on windshields in the Walmart parking lot.
And we all know someone who was invited to church where they heard the gospel and came to faith. God has and will continue to use these types of entry strategies.
But if we want our disciples to become disciples who make disciples, then they must be empowered and released to enter new fields, to proclaim the gospel and to disciple new believers.
We must raise the expectations on what it means to be a disciple and equip everyone to be active participants in God’s work rather than just mere consumers. Anything less leads to passive faith, stunted growth and soon becomes a barrier to kingdom expansion.
The students at Jefferson high school could have looked outside for a special speaker that Collision could bring in. They could have planned a large rally at a nearby church and invited every student to come.
Their job then would have been to hand out flyers and invite students. And some would have come. Some would have heard the gospel and some would most certainly have come to faith.
But then these young disciples would not have had the opportunity to be Christ’s ambassadors.
They wouldn’t have needed to know how to share their faith or how to lead someone to Christ.
They wouldn’t have needed to enter into the mess of students’ lives.
They would not have needed to know how to disciple new believers.
They wouldn’t have needed to obey Jesus and make disciples.
And most at Jefferson high school would not have heard the gospel because most would not have come to a large rally.
The vision was not to reach some of Jefferson High School. The vision is to reach ALL of Jefferson High School.
And so these students are wrestling with discovering entry strategies that will allow them to reach ALL of Jefferson High School.
They are beginning in prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit for guidance.
They are themselves becoming disciples worth multiplying.
They are starting with their relational networks, praying for those they know who don’t yet know Christ.
They are learning about the person of peace and praying that the Lord will lead them to such people in each of the groups that they identified.
They are coaching new believers to gather their friends together to discover the truths in God’s word.
They are finding creative ways to serve and meet other students.
They are asking Wig-Take questions.
They are setting goals and prayerfully holding one another accountable to reach those goals.
Each week new students are coming to faith. Each week new groups are starting on campus.
God is on the move because a group of students believe that God wants to use them on their campus.
In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the twelve two by two with a number of instructions. Verses 9-10 in the Message read this way: Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.
The students at Jefferson High School have come to believe that they are the equipment that God wants to use and their example should encourage you.
God has placed you in a job, in a neighborhood, in a group of friends and in a family because He wants to use you there. Your relational networks is your first entry strategy.
You also live in towns, cities and regions filled with people who are far from God, people you do not know.
How will they hear?
Begin to prayerfully discover the entry strategies that will allow you to share the good news of Jesus in these places.
**Nathan Shank, starting on page 29 in Four Fields of Kingdom Growth, offers a helpful list of questions for evaluating tools and methodologies.
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