Over the last few years, my wife and I have had increased opportunities for involvement in our daughter’s school. As the missional movement continues challenging the body of Christ into neighborhood awareness, service, and care, here are 3 ways to bless your local school.
1) Be prayer full.
How often do you pray for schools? Be quick to pray for a school: students, faculty, staff, and administration. Pray on your own. Pray with friends. Organize community prayer gatherings focused on the schools.
Pray for unity, peace, teamwork, creativity, learning, and growth. Pray for stability, security, perseverance, and collaboration. Pray that the school’s influence would reach beyond the classroom, and that the neighborhood would embrace the school with positivity and cooperation. Pray for schools.
2) Be quick to honor the faculty, staff, and administrators.
Teachers love gifts. What about spontaneously giving gift certificates to local restaurants? What about giving money to teachers to use for classroom resources? What about consistently giving your time in a classroom?
Could you offer a night a week to assist the custodial staff? Due to budget constraints, the custodial staff at my daughter’s school has been cut in half. Could you gather a small group, Sunday School class, or civic organization to write “thank you” cards to cafeteria staff? What about checking up on what your school serves for lunch and offering to help keep it healthy?
Do any of your local schools have some sort of clothing closet or food pantry? Talk to the school counselor to determine if one is needed or how you can best come alongside what they are already doing. Are there any fund raisers in progress you could donate to? Do the athletic departments need equipment?
Are you on a first-name basis with the principal? Do you understand the civic context of the school, the challenges facing the school, or the opportunities available to bless the school?
3) Be creative.
Does your school need additional crosswalk volunteers? Are there students at your school without supplies? Could your involvement ensure that students walking or riding bikes to and from school can do so safely with adult supervision and care?
Could you offer skill-oriented classes through and with the school? Many schools recognize that their communities need job, communication, and computer skill training; however, due to staff shortages, financial constraints, and lack of time, they are unable to provide such services. Could you help?
Here’s the deal (at least in my state). Increased state assessment standards, drastic budget cuts, and personnel reductions are colliding to form the perfect storm in public education. How can the church be good news?
*Is this something the church should be concerned about?
*What would you add to this list?
*How are you already blessing schools in your ministry context?