Building In-Roads to Your Local Public Schools

Recently in our kids church we talked about the first time the term Christian was used to describe followers of Jesus Christ. The people of Antioch watched as Barnabas, Paul, and the church there acted like Jesus. It was because of their actions that they were known to be Jesus followers.

I believe as kidmin leaders, one of the best ways we can be the hands and feet of Jesus outside the walls of the church is to partner with our local public schools to meet the needs of students in our cities.

Here are four steps to building inroads to your local public schools!

1. Go in with no return agenda
If you are wanting to connect with schools for the sole purpose of getting people to come to your church, then you are going into it for the wrong reason. Do it to be a blessing! Do it to help those in your community who need it. When we go in with the right heart, God will return the blessing in ways we could not imagine.

2. Be available

If you’ve never talked to the elementary principal of the school closest to you, then do it right now. Call them and let them know who you are and that you are available if they need anything! Thank them for the work they are doing and how they are impacting your community for the better.

I did this with a school down the street from us, and the principal was a bit stand-offish. In our first conversation, I mentioned we’d be willing to bring a work team during the summer and asked if they needed anything. She said that she was too busy and she'd get back to me! I called back at later date, and she gave the same response. However, because I had made our church available, she called me a few months later to see if we were interested in helping them with a food pantry. My response was “Absolutely, we cant wait to help!”

You may not get the response you want initially, but if they know you’re available, when the need comes, they wont forget you!
3) Surprise connections

A couple of times a year, we will randomly show up at the school (I connect with elementary schools and our Youth Pastor connects with local middle/high schools) and surprise the principals and teachers with a “thank you” gift. Usually it’s something for breakfast—coffee right before the semester is over as they push to the end, Valentine's Day “thank you" cards, etc.

Again, these are things we do with a “no return agenda” in mind. Over time, the school leadership and employees will see you simply loving on them for their investment in kids and see that you are truly showing the love of Jesus.