I have a fervent belief that if we want to reach a post-Christian society, we have to be Good News before someone will listen to Good News.
I asked some teachers, “How could a local church be Good News to your public school?” Here are 10 of their ideas.
- Create a team that participates at every school board meeting. Your presence at meetings will communicate to the decision-makers that your church cares.
- Sponsor a community-wide clean-up day during the Fall and Spring semesters. If you lead the charge, other churches and community organizations will join forces.
- Ask teachers to post individual classroom needs on Donors Choose, and then ask church members to help fund things that will go directly to the classroom.
- Set up a tutoring program that meets in your building after school. You don’t have to be a certified teacher to help kids with math, science, and reading homework.
- Ask your congregation to strategically send their children to public schools. Resist the temptation to home school or send children to a private school. Instead, ask the congregation to invest that time and money into their children’s individual classrooms.
- Schools are often lacking volunteers for events. Meet with the principal early in the Fall and find out which events need help.
- Have the church cover any expenses for background checks or medical tests related to volunteering in schools. Sometimes the smallest obstacle becomes the biggest excuse!
- Once a month, provide treats to the school staff. Every school has a teachers lounge, and every employee of the school will appreciate your providing bagels or a healthy lunch snack. (Don’t just bless the teachers—bring enough for everyone!) Trust me, this will make even the most hardcore staff smile.
- Many districts have cut spending on arts and music. Have your worship leader work with local administrators to set up workshops, either after school or at any opportunity for children to get exposure to art and music.
- Find out what projects are important at a school and help provide the supplies. If they have a garden, make sure they have tools. If they are allowing children to paint murals, make sure they have the paint they want.
Want to get started? Pick one and let me know how it goes!
These are my ideas. What are yours?
Many of these ideas came from classroom teachers. Special thanks to Erin, Annie, and Paul for speaking into this post.