Several months ago John Moores wrote a post called 3 Ways to Impact Your Local School. With school starting up very soon I wanted to write a post that expounds on John’s first point of serving. Here they are:
- Write Letters. One of the things that I do for the principals, office staff, and guidance counselors at our local high school is to simply write them a letter of encouragement before the school year. In the letter I try to not only encourage but thank them for all they do for the students. If you can, it doesn’t hurt to throw a Starbucks gift card in those letters.
- Meet with Staff. I may be repeating John’s first point a little but it’s an important step. It’s one thing to send a letter. It’s another thing if they have a face to go with that letter. I set up meetings with the principals and the guidance staff. And in those meetings my only agenda is to ask, “How can I help this year?”. I don’t try to force anything and I’m looking to start any clubs, groups, bible studies, etc. I just want to serve them. Meeting with the staff opens up avenues for conversation and brings in a great relational aspect to your partnership with them. Also, bringing Starbucks coffee for everyone at the meeting is a plus! (notice a pattern here).
- Follow Through. You HAVE to follow through with the things you talk with the staff about during the meetings. If they open up doors for you to enter then you better walk through. One of the things last year that the counselors and I talked about was for me to give them a roster of our students so they could look it over and contact me if something ever came up with one of those students. The very next day they had the roster. And when one of the principals asked me if I could help them do some cleaning, you better believe I was there the very next week with a group of students ready to serve. (“When you tell God you’ll do something, do it – now. God takes no pleasure in foolish gabble. Vow it, then do it. Far better not to vow in the first place than to vow and not pay up.” Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 MSG).
I realize that not all schools are as open as our local school has been. We are definitely blessed. However, keep going for it. Keep trying to build trust. Most importantly, ask for God’s timing and ask God to continue to open doors and break down walls.