BY STEVE DUNN
Part 2 of a Series
Schools have become the center of most communities, often supplanting the position a key church once else. This actually makes them now a prime mission field for churches who seek to build bridges of truth and grace,. The key here is to surrender any idea of controlling the school or asking the school to serve your mission. The key is to seek to influence a school by showing it how the church can help the school accomplish its mission.
The primary goal of most schools is to provide a quality education by giving kids academic knowledge and lifeskills necessary to function as useful members of the society. What that involves varies from community to community and is often dependent upon three things:(1) the graduation requirements of state departments of higher education (2) the constraints of budgets available from the taxation system (3) the socio-economic needs of the community they serve.
Many school superintendants or principals will tell you that there are many competing groups trying to control that agenda. As such, school administrators have an instinctive reaction against anyone who wants to use the schools for their purposes–whether it by the federal government, taxpayer groups, political parties, or special interests (in which category they often place churches).
It is not without accident that Jesus taught us that true leadership comes through humility and self-sacrifice. These are the two key ingredients in servanthood.
You demonstrate a servant’s heart when you pay attention to the “little people” (i.e., the support staff) and offer to help them. One church gained inroads because their youth staff visiting school lunch rooms helped the kitchen bus the tables.
You demonstrate a servant’s heart when you help the school do the community research it must have to make its reports and justify its proposals for funding.
You demonstrate a servant’s heart when you ask that principal, “What’s one job around here that you have trouble getting people to do?” and then you go do it.
You demonstrate a servant’s heart whenyou give your Christmas offering to support the “family emergency fund” that most office of student services must have to meet lower income needs.
You demonstrate a servant’s heart when you don’t feel the need to brag about what you do for the school on your websites. You let the school do the bragging about you.
(C) 2013, 2017 by Stephen Dunn
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