Thursday, April 30, 2015

6 Reasons we Invest in Public Schools

I referenced this in a post last week about the cheating scandal among Atlanta Public Schools and the trial, convictions, and sentencing that followed.

So here's the question again:  what if every evangelical church looked at a school in their geographic locale and did what they could to seek the welfare of that place and those people?

Here are my top six reasons our church is invested in a local school (an elementary school in our case):

1.  We have families with kids there.

2.  We have families with kids there that we want to reach with the Gospel.

3.  We want to do "cup of cold water" and evangelistic ministries as a part of our church-wide effort to Proclaim the Kingdom.  Our adopted school, in particular, is fertile ground for both.  We do the former through a great relationship with the school nurse and counselor (more below).  We do the latter through our sponsorship and hosting of a Good News Club.

4.  It gives us an opportunity to invest in people who are pouring out their lives for others.  The teachers and staff there are generally glad to see us coming.

5.  Our church family practices generosity (and fights suburbia-induced greed) by doing something at Christmas and at the end of school for families in need.  These families are often classified by the school district as homeless and are assigned to us by the counselor and nurse.  We buy and wrap gifts at Christmas.  We pack summer survival kits in May.

6.  It reminds us that the Kingdom is bigger and broader and better than just our little expression of it.  One grandmother pulled up to pick up her kid from Good News Club and excitedly expressed her gratitude that we had invested in her grandson who had just been baptized at their church the weekend before.  Awesome.

I don't assume that we can fix everything or presume that all is well simply because we're there.  Far from it.  But, I do know we're making a difference.  And that really does matter in the lives of some kids.

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