Thursday, February 23, 2017

Serve + Renew Community Via Local Schools

The local public schools provide an excellent means for the average Christian to serve his or her community. If your church wants to discover the real needs of your community and have a lasting impact through meeting those needs, start with the closest school, preferably public. If you want to follow the example of Jesus and extend God’s love to the disadvantaged, start with a public school. If you want to build relationships with people across the socioeconomic and racial spectrum in your community, start with a local public school. If you want to teach your children how to notice the needs of others where they live, start by getting involved at a local public school. If you want to know your community beyond your immediate circle of friends, getting involved with the public school is a great way to expand your circle.

The Best Thing You Can Offer:
There will always be financial and facility needs. But the best asset you can offer a school is not necessarily a new program or a new project—it’s people. (And, as far as starting programs go, people who are already involved and relationally connected are much better positioned to begin programs that actually make a significant difference.)

Here is a List of Ideas You Might Consider:

  • Coach or help coach a sport or run a theater program.
  • Offer to volunteer answering the phone and/or working the front reception area a couple of hours a week. 
  • Tutor a child. Every school has kids in dire need of someone who cares. This is also a fantastic connection with the families of students.
  • Join a team. Become a member of groups such as the PTA or sit on a school council. These committees provide meaningful connections with parents and other community members. 
  • Get technical. If you have some sort of skill set in technology, offer your assistance. There is always a need for computer skills, website help, and even help with the school network administration. 
  • Go places. Teachers are always in need of parents to chaperone field trips. 
  • Volunteer with a teacher. Teachers do a lot more than just teach kids. There is a ton of organization necessary, tests and homework to be graded, and a number of other things that require the teacher’s time.
  • Volunteer at the school library. Most schools are short on funding to pay someone to run their library, so they rely on volunteer help to keep the library open for students. Offer to check out books for people or stock them. Assist students or even offer to donate money for some needed books.

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