I was a bi-vocational Children’s Pastor for a few years and I always wished I could somehow get into schools, where the kids were at. Obviously, working a full-time secular job didn’t afford me the opportunity to do anything even if I wanted to. I came on in a full-time role just a little over a year ago. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, the things I’ll have time to do.” Then reality set in. Not only did I have to take care of kid min, I was also overseeing our website, communications, social media, podcast, Live streaming as well. Anyways, the school thing.. yea it went out the window… Till a few months ago. I will share with you 5 things I am doing to connect with some schools in my city.
1. Offer to be a kids assistant. In my town our schools have a few people on staff that assist kids who are behind in reading or math. But there is usually more kids that need help than there are people. So, I contacted the school and told them I had a few hours a week I come to the school and help do whatever they needed. Within a week I had a call to come and help. I now have a standing appointment on Wednesdays from 9-11am and I listen to kindergartener read and do site words. Talk about High Fives.
2. Offer to tutor a kid or two that really needs the extra help. In most classrooms there is at least one kid who is on the verge of failing and because teachers are so often over stretched, they don’t have the time to work with the child one on one. Enter You. This is a great opportunity to pull alongside a child and it just might be the one thing that keeps them from giving up.
3. Gather Supplies. Once your foot is in the door, find one teacher and ask them to give you a wish list. Many teachers will have to buy supplies from their own pocket for their classroom because they just don’t have the budget. Take the list back to church and ask for Help.. Don’t feel like you must fill the entire list. Anything is Helpful.
4. Provide a Snack Box for one class or grade.. Many times kids come to school and don’t bring a snack. Sometimes they forget, sometimes an overworked mom just hasn’t been to the grocery store, or at times, those that should care for the child just don’t care enough to send one. Either way, its hard for kids to learn if they are hungry. So, buy a plastic tote with a locking lid and ask people in your church to Fill-It-Up with various snacks like crackers, Little Debbie’s, bags of chips etc. Once you have it full take to the school and instruct the teacher to call you when its empty. Then REPEAT.
5. Offer to help with special events. This Friday I will be serving Snow Cones to two classes that win the current contest.. It’s a great opportunity to see kids on their turf. Some are our own church kids, and others I’m just getting to know.
What ever you do DON’T OFFER TO WORK THE CAR PICK UP LINE. Unless you have been trained, certified, tested and released to do so. This is an area that can be fatal if mistakes are made.. lol
But really, if you have been wanting to connect with your schools and just haven’t taken the first step just make the call. Just remember why you’re doing it! You may not see your kids ministry take off and that is OK. Sometimes we don’t do things so people will come to our church, we do it because we love Jesus and Jesus loves them.
Children and Family Pastor
Mars Hill Baptist